Köln welcome RB Leipzig to the RheinEnergieStadion for the second game of the Sunday Bundesliga double-header.
The hosts will be flying after their emphatic 3-1 win against Schalke at the Veltins-Arena, and Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhüttl also had praise for their opponent’s defence ahead of the weekend’s game.
“Köln are definitely one of the surprise packages. They have a lot of quality to only let in one goal in four games,” the Austrian said.
However, the visitors have also been on a decent run of their own and, as Hasenhüttl stated, they “are not going to Köln to applaud their achievements”. Despite Borussia Mönchengladbach’s late equaliser in midweek, Leipzig have been excellent so far this season, with notable victories coming against Borussia Dortmund and Hamburg.
And their form has not gone unnoticed by Köln coach Peter Stöger, who acknowledged Leipzig’s excellent start to the season.
“They are a good team and they have put in some great performances. They are young, hungry and work hard against the ball. You can bet that it will be a very challenging encounter for us,” the 50-year-old said.
Peter Stöger had no new injury news regarding his squad ahead of the game, although there was some good news, with the club confirming that Leonardo Bittencourt is running again after suffering a muscle injury against Freiburg.
Meanwhile, Ralph Hasenhüttl confirmed that forward Emil Forsberg will not play on Sunday after suffering mild concussion against Borussia Mönchengladbach in midweek. The Austrian also confirmed that Bayer Leverkusen loanee Kyriakos Papadopoulos is also unlikely to feature after suffering a knock to his knee.
There was some good newd though for the visitors, with Marvin Compper possibly being fit enough to make an appearance on Sunday after making good progress this week in his recovery.
Prediction – Köln 2-1 Leipzig
With Köln in impeccable form, especially after their midweek result, I expect the hosts to just edge this one. Leipzig have made an impressive start to Bundesliga life after their promotion, but the likes of Anthony Modeste and Yuya Osako have demonstrated such consistent form so far that it is hard to imagine one of them not scoring. Leipzig are so far undefeated in the Bundesliga, and given Hasenhüttl’s statement that he wants his side to prove that they’re “a difficult team to beat”, I expect them to make it difficult for Köln, but for them to also just fall short.