Do not let the clubs' respective shortcomings fool you, however, as a wealth of goal-hungry stars will be on display in what is shaping up to be an intriguing encounter at the RheinEnergieStadion.
With the relegation zone uncomfortably close for both sides, nothing but victory will do here. Köln are currently in mid-table on 15 points, but have only won once at home this term and only scored twice in front of their own fans. Hertha are four points worse off and therefore closer to the drop zone, and are still to win away in 2014/15.
Marcel Risse, Simon Zoller and Patrick Helmes will definitely play no part due to injury, while Japanese midfielder (pictured) is doubtful after missing training on Thursday with an infection.
The injury list is considerably longer for the visitors, who are without Marius Gersbeck, Sebastian Langkamp, Fabian Lustenberger, Peter Pekarik, Alexander Baumjohann and Tolga Cigerci. However, (2nd r.) returned unscathed from international duty and is fit to play.
The league's third-lowest scorers with just 11 goals - only two of which have come at home - it is clear where Köln's main problem lies. And after striker Simon Zoller was ruled out with injury, it will be up to Nigerian frontman to lead the line and get the goals.
Without a victory on the road all season, Hertha's best chance of success here is likely to be a counterattack-based smash-and-grab effort. Crucial to that ploy will be the finishing four-goal top scorer Kalou, who also netted twice for the Ivory Coast in the international break to help them qualify for the 2015 African Cup of Nations.
Peter Stöger (Köln coach): "We can give ourselves a bit of breathing space with a win, but that doesn't mean we're favourites going into the game."
Jos Luhukay (Hertha coach, r.): "Köln might have trouble taking the initiative in their own stadium. That could be our chance."
Only the top two of FC Bayern München and VfL Wolfsburg are presently on a better run of form than the Billy Goats, who have lost two but won three of their last five games, including a 4-3 away win over Hoffenheim on Matchday 11. Hertha have won two and lost three of their five most recent outings and fell to a 2-0 home defeat to Hannover 96 last time out.
Köln have the superior head-to-head record in this fixture having taken maximum points from 23 of the 48 matches played. Hertha have won on 16 occasions, with nine draws. They last met at this level in the 2011/12 season, when each side won their respective home game.
Köln: Horn - Brecko, Mavraj, Wimmer, Hector - Vogt, Lehmann - Olkowski, Halfar, Svento - Ujah
Hertha: Kraft - Ndjeng, Heitinga, Brooks, Schulz - Hosogai, Skjelbred - Beerens, Stocker, Ben-Hatira - Kalou
Check out Köln's Top 10 goals courtesy of the Bundesliga's official YouTube channel: