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Match Preview: Borussia Dortmund Host Steffen Baumgart’s FC Cologne

Who lost the injury lottery this week?

Borussia Dortmund v FC Ingolstadt 04 - DFB Cup: Second Round Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund are hoping to maintain winning ways as they host a relatively high-flying Cologne tomorrow at the Westfalenstadion, but if they’re to have any chance of doing so, they will have to stop Anthony Modeste.

Cologne have been playing some good football so far this season, and they sit 8th in the league as a result. They have only won two of their last five league games, but they have also picked up three impressive draws against Bayer Leverkusen, Frankfurt, and RB Leipzig. Anthony Modeste has been in particularly good form, having scored six goals in nine games, but it’s clear that Cologne will be a solid opponent. That said, their underlying numbers do suggest that they are overperforming a little so far this season, particularly on offense, so with any luck they’ll start regressing to the mean tomorrow!

Bayern Munich will be looking to extend their lead at the top by beating Union Berlin this weekend, and with something to prove after their 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Borussia Monchengladbach, I think they’ll come out firing. That means that Dortmund can’t afford to drop points against Cologne if they are to have any hope of maintaining the title chase. While Cologne will be a tough outing, BVB should be going into tomorrow’s game fully expecting to win.

Predicted Lineup

BVB will be without Erling Haaland, who is looking likely to be out until 2022, as well as Rapha Guerreiro, Gio Reyna, Mo Dahoud, and Nico Schulz, who are all still out with injuries. Emre Can is the latest name to be added to the injury list, having picked up a muscle injury that will put him out until after the international break. However, Malen should be able to make it off the toilet to play on Saturday, and Moukoko is apparently ready to return too.

With this in mind, I think we’ll see a relatively safe but solid starting lineup, such as the following:

With Can injured, that means that Witsel will probably need to come back into the midfield, and I think Wolf will continue in his role as the perfect depth piece, stepping in wherever he is asked. I think he will play at left back, with Meunier back at right back. Otherwise, I think it will look like a relatively familiar starting eleven.

Prediction

This game has the potential to be a high-scoring affair, with BVB ranking second in goals scored per match (2.8 goals) and Cologne ranking sixth (1.8 goals). While Cologne’s defense is relatively stout, I am confident that Dortmund have the ability to get goals. But they can also concede plenty too, so I’m sure Modeste will get on the scoresheet. But as stated earlier, Cologne are overperforming a little. While their offense is a real threat, I think it’s running a little hot too, and they won’t be able to maintain that on Saturday.

I think BVB will get the win, but not without making things a little tense, as they love to do.

Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Cologne