Cologne vs Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund’s pursuit of a coveted Bundesliga top-four finish continues at the RheinEnergieStadion against relegation-battling Cologne.

Cologne spurned the lead again last weekend, allowing TSG Hoffenheim to bounce back from a deficit and claim a 1-1 draw at this stadium, leaving Timo Schultz’s side in a dire situation. With just two wins and 11 points after the opening 17 Bundesliga matches (W2, D5, L10), the ‘Billy Goats’ could be staring down the barrel of their first relegation to the second tier since 2017/18. However, there’s still enough time for second-from-bottom Cologne to close down a three-point deficit on safety, though a four-game winless run at home (D3, L1) doesn’t inspire much confidence. Inspiration could come from Cologne squeaking past Dortmund 3-2 in this corresponding fixture last term, breaking a five-match winless streak in home league H2Hs (D3, L2).

Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund’s embarrassing run of three draws and one defeat in their last four Bundesliga outings of 2024 is now firmly behind them following a 3-0 demolition of Darmstadt in their first top-flight game in the new calendar year. After painting his second Dortmund debut with flying colors, Jadon Sancho will be out to inspire Edin Terzic’s side to back-to-back away league wins for the first time since September. But ‘Die Borussen’ can’t underestimate the gravity of the situation, knowing they had gone winless on four straight Bundesliga travels before putting Darmstadt to the sword (D3, L1). If it’s any consolation, they’ve breezed past Cologne in their last two top-flight H2Hs via a combined score of 7-1, though both those encounters took place at Signal Iduna Park.

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