17:30 (BST); Wednesday 20th September; RheinEnergieStadion (Cologne, Germany) BT Sport ESPN
It’s time to sound the alarm in Köln as they are rooted to the bottom of the Bundesliga entering Week 5.
For Köln, it’s been a long time since their one and only win, which came in the DFB Pokal five weeks ago.
Their opponents Eintracht Frankfurt haven’t had an ideal start to their campaign either as they linger in 13th with only one win so far this year.
Köln are in need of all three points, otherwise the pressure will be well and truly on manager Peter Stöger.
Last Time Out
Borussia Dortmund 5-0 KÖLN
After falling to defeat on Thursday night to Arsenal in the Europa League, Peter Stöger was hoping for a response at the Signal Iduna Park.
Köln couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start if they tried as, two minutes after the first whistle, Maximilian Philipp headed in from close range.
Sokratis then scored on the brink of halftime in controversial circumstances, with a debate over whether the ball crossed the line before the whistle blew. Dortmund headed into the changing room with a 2-0 lead.
In the second half, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who hadn’t scored against Köln in his career, netted a second-half brace. One from the penalty spot after Lukas Klunter handled the ball and moments later the Gabonese striker had the easiest of tap-ins.
The fifth and final goal came in the 69th minute with Philipp securing his brace to condemn Köln to a heavy defeat.
EINTRACHT FRANKFURT 1-2 Augsburg
Eintracht Frankfurt looked to make it two wins on the bounce as they hosted an Augsburg side who were in goalscoring form.
It was a less than ideal start for Frankfurt who fell behind on 20 minutes when Philipp Max’s free-kick deceived everyone as the ball trickled into the back of the net.
Niko Kovač side really struggled to get involved in the contest and late in the second half Caiuby caught Lukas Hradecky off his line to score an absolute beauty.
Frankfurt pulled one back when on-loan Benfica striker Luka Jović scored his first Bundesliga goal, but it wasn’t enough as they succumbed to their second defeat of the season.
Fredrick Sørensen will return to partner Dominique Heintz in defence whilst Miloš Jojić comes in for Marco Höger. Köln are still without Jonas Hector who won’t return until mid-December.
Eintracht Frankfurt Lineup
Luka Jović made an impression coming off the bench, but he will start the game as a substitute once again. Jonathan de Guzmán could be given a spell with Gelson Fernandes returning to the midfield.
Key Battle: Jhon Córdoba vs Lukas Hradecky
Jhon Córdoba has shot blanks so far this season and he remains goalless, perhaps explaining why his new employers remain bottom of the Bundesliga table.
The Colombian has taken the second most shots this season (16) and yet hasn’t got a goal to show for his efforts.
I believed he couldn’t fill the void left by Anthony Modeste and perhaps his 10 goals in 51 Bundesliga appearances wowed Köln, but fans must be frustrated with the Colombian’s inability to convert.
Lukas Hradecky isn’t having his best season, making only the five saves. In his last outing against Augsburg, Finland’s number one didn’t cover himself in glory with both goals, in some way, the fault of Hradecky.
The opener caught him unaware, as it trickled past the indecisive shot-stopper, whilst the second saw the Fin caught completely off his line. Both players need a rebound in Week 5.
Don’t panic…. yet
After last year’s dream season, Peter Stöger’s men couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start as they are rock bottom and have already shipped 12 goals.
Under Stöger, Köln typically have been a defensive rock, but without that stability going forward it’s felt that the defence are constantly under pressure.
Köln should already be concerned, but another defeat will see the alarm bells well and truly ringing.
Goal scoring storyline
Sebastian Haller and Kevin-Prince Boateng have been leading the line regularly for Eintracht Frankfurt, but unfortunately neither have really hit the ground running.
Two goals for Frankfurt this season come from Boateng and Luka Jović, but converting their chances has been an issue this season.
Eintracht are ranked sixth in chances created this season (45), but the return for those chances isn’t good enough. Can Frankfurt become more efficient going forward or will it be the same old story?
PREDICTION: Köln 0-1 Eintracht Frankfurt
Köln will need to come out swinging, but a complete domination in Dortmund, one wonders if this side has the character to pick itself up off the canvas and fight once more.
Their opponents Frankfurt have been solid if unspectacular and against Köln, I sense that Niko Kovač’s side will come out with intent and desire, which will see them secure the points in midweek.
Will it be fifth times the charm for Köln or will Eintracht Frankfurt secure their second win of the season? Let us know in the comments section below.
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