Opinion | Why FC Köln fans can be optimistic ahead Bayer Leverkusen clash

On the face it, not many FC Köln fans are giving their side much hope ahead of their clash with Bayer Leverkusen this weekend. Köln travel to the current league leaders on Sunday with one point from their opening six matches and in the relegation zone. On the other hand, B04 are unbeaten and enjoying a four-match winning streak at home.

All the evidence points to a comfortable home win, right? Well, this may end up being the case. However, I believe there is still hope and reasons to remain optimistic if you’re a Köln supporter. 

Köln’s BayArena Record

Steffen Baumgart’s side have enjoyed recent success on their quick trips to Leverkusen’s BayArena. In fact, Köln have won their past two games there (1-2 and 0-1). Granted, the Billy Goats may not be in the same form as they were in the past two fixtures. However, this goes out the window during derbies. Köln will be reminded of their recent successes against Leverkusen, and if there’s one man who can galvanise a team, it’s Baumgart. For the fans and players, this is a free hit – you’ve already been written off. If they can harness the belief by looking at recent season’s results and encouragement from the fans and coach, it may be possible to get a positive result on Sunday. 

Get It in the Mixer!

If you look at the table, you’ll notice that B04 have a solid defence, having only conceded six goals. However, look a bit closer, and you’ll see that four of these goals have come from set pieces. This is a clear area for Köln to exploit and possibly their best chance of scoring. Köln have been shy of goals so far this season, no question. However, the team has already registered 95 crosses in their opening six matches. They’re clearly a team that likes to get balls into the box, and against a team that struggles to defend them, it could be the perfect opportunity for Köln to start converting these chances. 

My message to Köln fans is to enjoy it, and you never know in football. It could be the turning point in your season. If it ends up being another loss, you’ll always have this Baumgart quote regarding Leverkusen: 

“There is a big club and a not so big club here. I think we are the bigger club. Even if it may seem different from a sporting point of view. FC is number 1 in this region. You can play in the European Cup 20 times or become runner-up. Don’t give a f*ck.”

GGFN | Jamie Allen

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