It’s already the second away trip this Rückrunde, and this time the Black and Yellows make a short trip southwest to the fourth biggest city in Germany, Köln. The Billy Goats have had a very rough Bundesliga season so far, and they currently sit 17th in the table, three points deep in the relegation zone. This season saw the club part ways with legendary coach Steffen Baumgart just before the winter break and for the first time 1. Bundesliga coach Timo Schultz is now in charge of the team. Last week, Köln managed a 1-1 draw against Frank Schmidt’s impressive Heidenheim side, and it will be interesting to see whether a new manager bounce will be in play when The Black and Yellows pay a visit to the RheinEnergieStadion.
There are quite a lot of smaller injuries plaguing the team at the moment. Mats Hummels and Marco Reus missed Thursday’s last training session, and Emre Can is also a question mark for the game. Neither Adeyemi, Ryerson nor Nmecha are match fit yet, so Terzic will probably have to shuffle the cards a bit for this one. Despite several players being unavailable, I still think BVB can field a decent lineup against an inferior side.
While this is the most straightforward option for a starting XI, there are still some positions that could feature other players. Marco Reus and Moukoko both had good showings in Darmstadt, and I would not be surprised if Füllkrug didn’t start, as he hasn’t really found the back of the net lately. I don’t expect Sancho to be quite match fit yet, but he’ll no doubt get another handful of minutes this game. Other than that, everything should be more or less self-explanatory.
Köln might have a new coach at the helm, but I still think they’re undoubtedly one of the worst teams in the league this season. With Leipzig and Leverkusen playing each other this weekend, Dortmund might have a shot at going even on points with The Cans, should they lose to Xabi Alonso’s well-oiled Leverkusen machine. There’s everything to play for, and Dortmund should quite easily dispatch this Köln side. I predict a 2-0 victory for The Black and Yellows.