1. FC Köln host an Eintracht Frankfurt side intent on bouncing back from their first defeat of 2016 when they take on the Billy Goats at the RheinEnergieSTADION on Saturday evening (kick-off 18:30CET/17:30GMT).
Köln engaged in their annual Carnival celebrations this week, and one wonders if the revelries may help them forget they are the team with the worst record in Saturday evening matches since the time slot was added to the league schedule back in 2009. The Billy Goats have lost nine of their 15 Saturday evening games and are yet to win a match in 2016 following draw at Hamburger SV last time out.
As fate would have it, Eintracht are the team with the best record, having taken 28 of a possible 39 points from Saturday evening fixtures, including three in the season's first meeting between these two sides back in September. Alexander Meier scored a hat-trick in that game and will be confident of registering again here, while new signing Marco Fabian has made an assured start to life in Germany and his first goal cannot be far away after another bright display in Matchday 20's loss to VfB Stuttgart.
Alexander Meier made an emphatic return for Eintracht Frankfurt, scoring a hat-trick in a 6-2 win over 1. FC Köln that saw the two sides trade places in the Bundesliga table.
Matchday 21 - match facts
- The last time either of these sides finished in the Bundesliga’s top five was 22 years ago.
- In that time, the clubs were relegated a total of nine times.
- The sides’ meeting earlier this season was the most goal-filled fixture of the season, with Frankfurt running out 6-2 winners.
- Not only did Alexander Meier score a hat-trick in that game, but it was also his first appearance of the season after six months out with a knee injury.
- Köln’s Timo Horn has conceded 11 Bundesliga goals against Frankfurt, more than against any other club.
- Since 2009, Frankfurt have the best record of any team in games played on a Saturday evening.
- By contrast, Köln have the worst record of the 19 teams to have played in a Saturday evening game in the Bundesliga.
- Köln are unbeaten in their last nine home games against Eintracht.
Köln: Horn - Maroh, Mavraj, Heintz - Risse, Lehmann, Gerhardt, Hector - Zoller, Mladenovic - Modeste
Frankfurt: Hradecky - Regäsel, Russ, Abraham, Oczipka - Hasebe, Stendera - Aigner, Fabian, Huszti - Meier
Absentees: Zambrano (suspended), Anderson (light training), Flum (knee), Reinartz (groin), Castaignos (ankle)