The Billy Goats won the Bundesliga 2 title last season, while HSV needed a two-legged promotion/relegation play-off win over SpVgg Greuther Fürth to preserve their unbroken top-flight stay.
Köln are back in the big time following a two-year hiatus, looking to cement their place in a league they won all the way back in its inaugural season in 1963/64. The Billy Goats have been up and down ever since, unlike Hamburg who remain the Bundesliga's only ever-present club since its inception. The Red Shorts went dangerously close to snapping that streak last time out, but will be hoping to put their dice with the drop behind them in Mirko Slomka's first full season at the helm.
Kazuki Nagasawa (knee), Slawomir Peszko (muscular), Dusan Svento (foot) and Patrick Helmes (hip) are missing for Saturday's hosts, while fellow summer signings Tomas Kalas, Simon Zoller (pictured), Kevin Vogt, Pawel Olkowski and Mergim Mavraj will all hope to have done enough during pre-season training to warrant a place in Peter Stöger's Matchday 1 starting line-up.
Slomka will be without new signings Nicolai Müller (adductor) and Zoltan Stieber (oedema) until next week. Gojko Kacar, Maximilian Beister and Slobodan Rajkovic have also been ruled out through injury, but Ivo Ilicevic will travel to Cologne as part of the matchday squad. Former FC Augsburg left-back Matthias Ostrzolek and Swiss international midfielder Valon Behrami (pictured) can expect to make their competitive HSV debuts.
bagged six goals in 15 Bundesliga 2 appearances for former club TSV 1860 Munich last term. The Japanese forward travelled to Brazil with the Samurai Blue for the 2014 FIFA World Cup this summer, before returning to his new employers ready for his first campaign in the Bundesliga where he'll be hoping to emulate the goal-scoring exploits of fellow countryman Shinji Okazaki.
Pierre-Michel Lasogga scored 13 goals in just 20 appearances during a loan spell from Hertha Berlin last season, including HSV's all-important away goal at Greuther Fürth. The 22-year-old won't have Hakan Calhanoglu behind him following the Turk's move to Leverkusen, but he has more than enough about him to fashion plenty of chances of his own.
Peter Stöger: "After such a long break from competitive action, it's about time the season got under way. We've done a lot of work and you can see that the players really want to prove themselves."
Mirko Slomka: "We're looking forward to facing a highly motivated, resilient and well organised team like Köln in front of 50,000 spectators. We want to get the season off on the right foot."
Both sides made it through to the second round of the DFB Cup this past week, though HSV to get past third-division Energie Cottbus. Stöger's Köln have now lost just one of their last 15 competitive outings, while Hamburg's last win in 90 league or cup minutes came at home to Leverkusen on Matchday 29 of the 2013/14 campaign.
The two clubs have met on 87 previous occasions in the Bundesliga, with the Billy Goats amassing 29 wins to Hamburg's 34. HSV, however, have picked up all three points in seven of the clubs' last 11 top-flight meetings, with Köln's most recent home win over the Bundesliga dinosaurs coming back on 30 October 2010.