After suffering at the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt's Alexander Meier last time out, VfL Wolfsburg will be looking to get 2016 up and running with a win when they welcome 1. FC Köln to the Volkswagen Arena in Matchday 19's penultimate game (kick-off 15:30CET/14:30GMT).
A hat-trick from the inspired Meier condemned the Wolves to a disappointing start to the Rückrunde, but they will take heart from a recent record of just one league loss against Köln in six years. The Billy Goats are also reeling and in need of points, however, following a 3-1 loss at home to VfB Stuttgart on Matchday 18.
1. FC Köln stretched their unbeaten home run to 11 games, but had to settle for a 1-1 draw against title contenders VfL Wolfsburg, as Nicklas Bendtner’s late strike cancelled out Simon Zoller’s opener.
Matchday 19 - match facts
- Köln have won just once in their last eight league matches against Wolfsburg: a 3-2 success at the Volkswagen Arena on 24 January 2010.
- After finishing second last season, Wolfsburg are performing well below expectations this year and are currently outside the top six.
- The Wolves are without a league win in five games, which is the longest barren run of any club at present and the longest since Dieter Hecking took charge.
- Hecking's men are even bottom of the form table taking the last five games into account and have 11 points less at this stage of the season compared to 2014/15.
- Köln have lost just one of their last five away games - at FC Bayern München.
Wolfsburg: Benaglio - Vieirinha, Naldo, Dante, Rodriguez - Träsch, Guilavogui - Caligiuri, Kruse, Draxler - Schürrle
Absentees: Arnold (knee), Ascues (knee), Dost (foot)
Köln: Horn - Olkowski, Maroh, Heintz, Hector - Risse, Vogt, Lehmann, Bittencourt - Osako, Modeste