1.FC Köln are hoping to do the double over Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday afternoon (kick-off: 15:30CET/14:30GMT), with a win enough to draw the Billy Goats level with the Foals in the table.
Watch: Köln 3-1 Eintracht Frankfurt MD21
Pride and parity are up for grabs as Köln travel to Mönchengladbach to take on the Borussians on Saturday afternoon. 130 kilometres separate the two North-Rhine-Westphalian cities, and the distance between the teams in the table is similarly insignificant, with hosts Gladbach in seventh, one goal and two places better off than the Billy Goats.
Midfielder Havard Nordtveit is set to continue operating as a makeshift right-back, with vice-captain Tony Janschke still struggling with a knee injury. Granit Xhaka, who returned to action in Sunday’s 3-2 loss at Hamburger SV, should be back to full fitness. Köln are at full strength, but for the injury-enforced absence of right-winger Marcel Risse.
Matchday 5 rewind: Köln 1-0 Gladbach
Matchday 22 - match facts
- A victory for Köln over Gladbach would see the Billy Goats draw level with their North Rhine-Westphalian rivals on 32 points.To climb above the Foals in the table, Köln would have to win by a four-goal margin.Gladbach’s form has been patchy since the turn of the year, with three losses and only one win.Köln won the reverse fixture 1-0 on Matchday 5. However, Gladbach had won five of their previous six games against Köln, drawing the other.Köln’s victory in September saw them end a nine-match winless streak against Gladbach in the Bundesliga.Lucien Favre resigned as manager immediately after Gladbach’s 1-0 defeat in the reverse fixture.Köln are unbeaten in their last five visits to Gladbach’s Stadion im Borussia-Park.Köln have drawn their last four away games (they have not been beaten on the road since falling to Bayern München in October). A fifth consecutive away draw would be a new club record.Andre Schubert has been impressive since succeeding Favre in November, losing only once in the first half of the season under his guidance, and three times in the second.
Gladbach: Sommer - Nordtveit, A. Christensen, Hinteregger, Wendt - Dahoud, G. Xhaka - Hazard, F. Johnson - Stindl, Raffael
Absentees: Stranzl (calf), Dominguez (back), Jantschke, Schulz (both knee), Hahn (light training)
Köln: Horn - Maroh, Mavraj, Heintz - Olkowski, M. Lehmann, Hector, Mladenovic - Bittencourt, Gerhardt - Modeste
Absentees: Risse (suspended), Zoller (hamstring)