The long summer months of boring, football-less Saturdays when you have to actually go out and find real hobbies are over! The Bundesliga is back, Borussia Dortmund are back, and boiler plate match previews are back. Play the drop!
In one corner, we have FC Köln (boo! hiss!), and in the other we have our favorite club, our beloved black-and-yellows, Borussia Dortmund. As long as this summer has felt, the mark from matchday 34 still burns strong, and it could take many, many convincing performances this season before us fans feel ready to forgive our boys. A win tomorrow against Köln would be a nice palette cleanser, however temporary it may be.
What can we expect from Köln, aside from Steffen Baumgart’s signature flat cap and possibly a live goat? Eintracht Frankfurt picked up Ellyes Skhiri on a shrewd free transfer, while club veterans Jonas Hector and Timo Horn have retired and hit the open market respectively, so it will be a transition year for the Billy Goats. New arrivals include the young Danish midfielder Jacob Christensen from Nordsjaelland, and Luca Waldschmidt, who is joining on loan from Wolfsburg.
Player to Watch: Florian Kainz
Longtime Bundesliga veteran and newly-appointed FC Köln captain Florian Kainz had a career year last season, with six goals and 10 assists in league competition. With Skhiri gone, Kainz is by far Köln’s most potent offensive threat.
Another candidate would be BVB alum and GOATed supersub Steffen “The Tigginator” Tigges.
Unfortunately, a series of injuries suffered in the final weeks of preseason mean that the club is unusually shallow to start the year. Karim Adyemi, Niklas Süle, Felix Nmecha, Julien Duranville, Gio Reyna, and Jamie Bynoe-Gittens are reportedly due to miss the game with various knocks. This means that Nico Schlotterbeck and Mats Hummels will be the starting center backs, while Marco Reus will need to start in midfield over Felix Nmecha, whose club debut will have to wait.
As he did against Schott Mainz, Julian Brandt will have to slide over to the wing, with Donyell Malen opposite him. Sébastien Haller will lead the line.
While I could be a negative Nancy and predict the club getting off to a poor start to the season, I will instead remain positive (while I still can) and predict a 3-1 win, with goals from Haller, Sabitzer, and Malen.