By Ben Sully
FC Köln are still hunting down a European place, and they will be looking to continue their impressive form with a win over Augsburg on Saturday.
|Mark Uth.||Photo: Sandro Halank, Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA 4.0|
Augsburg all but secured their Bundesliga place with a 2-0 victory over Bochum last weekend. First half strikes from André Hahn and Michael Gregoritsch proved enough to give the Fuggerstädter a precious three points that moved them seven points clear of the bottom three.
Although they are effectively safe, Augsburg will be looking to move up the table before the end of the season. Markus Weinzierl’s side currently occupy 14th position, but they still have the opportunity to match or better last season’s 13th place finish.
Saturday’s hosts failed to score in a home league game for just the second time this season, when they lost 1-0 to Hertha BSC in their most recent home outing.
Not only will Augsburg be looking to find the net, but they will be aiming to score the first goal as they have won five matches and drawn once in the six home league matches in which they scored first.
Augsburg have the chance to clinch a league double over Cologne, after winning the reverse fixture by a 2-0 scoreline.
Noah Sarenren Bazee and Tobias Strobl are both long-term injury absentees for the hosts, while Mads Pedersen is suspended due to an accumulation of yellow cards.
Cologne are still firmly in the hunt for a European place, with Steffen Baumgart’s charges currently residing in the seventh place.
Although seventh position may well become a European qualification spot, Die Billy Goats will be aiming to move into the top six before the season ends. The visitors will be expecting to end the season with a run of positive results, with their last three fixtures featuring contests against three of the bottom seven.
Baumgart’s side enter Saturday’s contest in a rich vein of form after winning their last three matches, with Köln scoring three goals in all three of those victories.
The latest of those wins occurred this weekend, as Arminia Bielefeld were dispatched with ease. Mark Uth gave Die Geißböcke the lead within three minutes before Bielefeld hit back thanks to Timo Hübers’ own goal. Köln retook the lead through Anthony Modeste, while the three points were secured when Jan Thielmann found the net four minutes from time.
As they head on their travels for Saturday’s contest, Cologne can draw confidence from the fact that they have lost just two of their last 10 away league matches.
Sebastian Andersson is in doubt for the visitors, while Salih Özcan will serve a one-match suspension due to an accumulation of yellow cards.
Final lineups are posted before start.
Bochum – Augsburg 0-2
|6||J. Gouweleeuw (c)|
|20||D. Caligiuri ↪89|
|8th||C. Gruezo ↪89|
|28||A Hahn ⚽ ↪59|
|16||R Vargas ↪59|
|7||F Niederlechner ↩59|
|3||M Pedersen ↩59|
|32||R. Framberger ↩89|
|10||A Maier ↩65|
FC Koln – Bielefeld 3-1
|2||B. Schmitz ↪74|
|4||T. Hubers ⚽|
|14||J Hector (c) ↪29|
|13||M. Uth ⚽ ↪88|
|11||F Kainz ↪74|
|27||A. Modeste ⚽|
|19||K. Ehizibue ↩74|
|23||J Horn ↩29|
|21||L. Schaub ↩74|
|29||J. Thielman ↩74 ⚽|
|47||M. Olesen ↩88|