Cologne midfielder Max Meyer knows his side need to snap a seven-game winless run when they host in-form relegation rivals Mainz on Sunday (kick-off 5pm BST).
Meyer was introduced as a substitute in the dying stages of Cologne's 1-0 defeat at Wolfsburg last weekend, a result that left them two points behind Mainz and Hertha Berlin in the relegation play-off place. Just as concerning for the Billy Goats, it means they head into Matchday 28 narrowly ahead of second-bottom Arminia Bielefeld on goal-difference. A creative player like Meyer will be pushing for a recall as a result, but the January signing from Crystal Palace might have to make his mark from the bench. Sebastian Andersson and Florian Kainz returned from injury as substitutes against Wolfsburg, and Swedish striker Andersson could be a major addition to the starting XI. Markus Gisdol could also have a further option in defence, with Sebastiaan Bornauw finally over a back problem.
Mainz have been in superb form since Bo Svensson took charge three months ago, although they were pegged back late on in a 1-1 home draw with Bielefeld last week. Both Daniel Brosinski - who scored the 05ers' goal from the penalty spot - and substitute Danny da Costa picked up ankle injuries in that tense encounter. Da Costa has recovered swiftly though and - given how much of an impact he's made since joining on loan from Eintracht Frankfurt in the winter transfer window - could be restored to the starting XI. Mainz will take all the help they can get, knowing that a third win in four away matches could make all the difference to their survival chances.
Watch: Cologne won the reverse fixture 1-0
- Cologne are without a win in seven Bundesliga matches, in which time they have picked up just two points.
- This season the Billy Goats have won three of their five meetings against sides below 14th, including a 1-0 win in Mainz.
- Cologne have won only one home game this term, picking up just eight points out of a possible 39. However, they have never lost at home to Mainz.
- Mainz are on a four-game unbeaten run (2 wins, 2 draws), while they have lost just one of their past eight.
- They have not yet beaten any side lower than 14th this season, though, in six meetings.
- Since Svensson took charge, Mainz have conceded on average 1.2 goals per game. Previously that average was 2.2.
Cologne: T. Horn - Ehizibue, Bornauw, Czichos, Katterbach - Skhiri, Hector (c) - Wolf, Duda, Jakobs - Andersson
Out: Thielmann (muscular)
Coach: Markus Gisdol
Mainz: Zentner - St. Juste, Bell, Niakhate - da Costa, Barreiro, Kohr, Mwene - Boetius - Glatzel, Quaison
Out: Kilian (thigh), Nebel (foot)
Doubtful: Brosinski (ankle)
Coach: Bo Svensson