It's back to the daily grind for Borussia Dortmund after the heroics in the DFB Cup on Tuesday against Bayern Munich. Unfortunately the black and yellows can't really afford to rest in the Bundesliga after a hard-fought win during the week because they still have to secure third place which would mean they could avoid the qualifying round for the Champions League. Three points at home against Köln would go a long way in that battle with Hoffenheim.
The good news is that Thomas Tuchel still hasn't lost a Bundesliga home game, right now we're at 35 and counting. In addition Köln has been in somewhat of a slump as of late, they have only won of their last five games. On the other hand Dortmund has some injury problems with some players in dire need of a rest. Both Sokratis and Bender picked up knocks, with Bartra already out Dortmund could have a problem at center-back against Köln with Ginter being the only healthy CB.
Thomas Tuchel also confirmed during the pre-game press conference that Julian Weigl is doubtful for the game and Ousmane Dembélé will get a rest. It looks like Tuchel will be forced to rotate heavily which means that Pulisic, Mor, Isak and Merino will probably start or at least be in the squad.
Köln have some injury problems on their own with Rausch, Risse, Olkowski, Zoller and Guirassy all missing the game but the Geißböcke have found a way to overachieve all season long so they will still be a dangerous opponent. Peter Stöger has built a very intriguing team that has its strength on defense, playing a very conservative style that relies on a stingy defense and their star striker Anthony Modeste.
The duel with Köln will also mark the return of Neven Subotic to the Signal-Iduna Park for the first time since he left on loan. The 28-year-old had a few mixed performances for the Domstädter, playing nine games but he didn't even make the gameday squad in two of their last three games.
Furthermore we will see the battle of two of the Bundesliga's most prolific strikers this season, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang vs Anthony Modeste. Auba is currently leading the race for the Torjägerkanone with 27 goals against Modeste's 23.
Let's hope PEA can extend his lead and keep the three points in Dortmund.