With Simon Zoller out injured, the hosts will be reliant on Nigerian striker Anthony Ujah for goals on Saturday evening
With Simon Zoller out injured, the hosts will be reliant on Nigerian striker Anthony Ujah for goals on Saturday evening
Bundesliga

Something's got to give as Köln host Hertha

Cologne - It's not quite a case of immovable object versus unstoppable force, but something will nevertheless have to give when an 1. FC Köln side struggling for form at home host the Bundesliga's worst away team in Hertha Berlin on Saturday evening (kick-off 17:30 GMT/18:30 CET).

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.

"Our squad for the match in Köln. Hany [Mukhtar]'s on call," reads the tweet below:

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.

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.

Click here to find your local broadcaster for this match.

Possible line-ups:

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: