The first Bundesliga game on Sunday is none other than the Rheinderby as Borussia Monchengladbach host 1. FC Köln at Borussia Park, 3:30pm local time. Köln have started the season well and find themselves eighth whilst Gladbach are one point behind Köln in 11th.
After a strong start to the season, Gladbach experienced their first reality check under manager Daniel Farke last weekend as they lost 5-1 at Werder Bremen. Gladbach went three goals down within the first 13 minutes at the Weserstadion with two goals from Niclas Füllkrug and a goal from Marvin Ducksch. A Ramy Bensebaini own goal would make it 4-0 at half time. In the second half, Marcus Thuram pulled one goal back before Mitchell Weiser scored the fifth. Before their last game, Gladbach had experienced strong results such as beating RB Leipzig 3-0 before the international break and drawing 1-1 with Bayern Munich to start their poor run of form.
This season Köln have the added challenge of juggling league football with the European Conference League. They currently sit third in their group after losing to Partizan Belgrade 1-0 on Thursday in a rotated team from their previous league game which saw them come from behind to beat Borussia Dortmund. Originally going down to a Julian Brandt goal, Köln rallied and goals from Florian Kainz and ex-Dortmund player Stefan Tigges gave them the lead. A 71st minute goal from Dejan Ljubicic extended Köln’s lead before Benno Schmitz scored an own goal which ended up being a consolation.
Both teams will want to gain the upper hand in the derby, with Gladbach wanting to bounce back from last weekend’s trashing against Bremen, while also making amends for their losses against Köln last season whilst Steffen Baumgart’s side will want to carry on their winning streak in the derby and continue their strong start to the season.
The reason Gladbach will want to make amends was last season they were easily dispatched by Köln in both the home and away game. First losing 4-1 at the Rhein Energie Stadion, before and even more embarrassing 3-1 loss at Borussia Park where they went 3-0 down within 35 minutes.
Sommer – Lainer, Friedrich, Elvedi, Bensebaini – Weigl, Koné – Hofmann, Kramer, Stindl – Thuram.
Schwäbe – Schmitz, Kilian, Hübers, Hector – Skhiri, Ljubicic, Maina, Duda, Kainz – Tigges.
GGFN | Jack Meenan