Cologne head coach Markus Gisdol believes his side can stop Erling Haaland and Borussia Dortmund, with an unconventional tactic. - © DFL/imago
Cologne head coach Markus Gisdol believes his side can stop Erling Haaland and Borussia Dortmund, with an unconventional tactic. - © DFL/imago

"We'll park our team bus on the pitch to stop Erling Haaland against Borussia Dortmund" - Cologne coach Markus Gisdol


Cologne head coach Markus Gisdol has a cunning plan to stop new Dortmund star Erling Haaland – by parking their team bus in front of the goal.

The Billy Goats travel to Dortmund on Friday, having watched Haaland destroy Augsburg with a 20-minute hat-trick on his debut last weekend.

The 19-year-old came off the bench to turn that game on its head, and many observers expect that the Norwegian striker will now be handed a first start since his recent move from Red Bull Salzburg. Gisdol, though, knows exactly how to keep Haaland quiet.

Watch: Haaland's hat-trick against Augsburg!

"We have the really big team bus that we're driving over in," the 50-year-old said with a smile at his midweek press conference.

"Maybe we'll just put it in the penalty area – or three buses next to each other. We have good players too – so we'll see how it goes.

"Maybe we can stop him, maybe we can't… but we would be making a big mistake to focus on only one player in Dortmund."

While his comments about parking the bus were tongue in cheek, Gisdol knows that the arrival of Haaland has made a trip to last season's runners-up an even more daunting prospect.

His side have won their last four matches to pull clear of the relegation zone, but fourth-placed Dortmund also have renewed confidence as they attempt to haul in league leaders RB Leipzig.

"Dortmund have a whole series of excellent players, whether it's [Jadon] Sancho, [Thorgan] Hazard, [Marco] Reus or [Mario] Götze. Whoever plays, it's always top quality. With Haaland, they've maybe gained a new component, because they haven't had a player like that before."

Cologne will have to be wary of all of Borussia Dortmund's threats, including Jadon Sancho, Gio Reyna and Erling Haaland. - imago

Cologne, though, have been in great form themselves, with Jhon Cordoba's double helping them to a 3-1 home win over Wolfsburg last time out. Gisdol said he didn't want his side to travel to Dortmund thinking they were just there to "pass the time" or had "nothing to lose."

"We want to show our football again… and if possible reach the next level," the former Hoffenheim and Hamburg boss declared.

"We want to bring a top performance – and we'll need one."

Watch: Cologne's big win over Wolfsburg on MD18!

The 8,000 Cologne fans who will make the 100 kilometre trek to the Signal Iduna Park will have a hard time trying to out-sing the home support. It's perhaps no surprise that Dortmund are still unbeaten at home this season, but Gisdol has backed his players to cope with playing at one of the world's most intimidating venues.

"I'm a big fan of preparing the team for the details of the next game," he said. "The lads grew up as football fans watching matches and they can appreciate, over time, that there are stadiums that have something special."

Gisdol said he wouldn't have to tell his team much about the atmosphere in Dortmund, adding that Cologne's own ground had been loud enough recently thanks to an upswing in their fortunes.