Koln host Fortuna Dusseldorf to cap off Bundesliga weekend matchday 27. The hosts head into the fixture winless in their last two matches having picked up just one point from their last six possible. On matchday 26, Koln threw away a two-goal lead in the second half allowing Mainz to battle back for a 2-2 draw.
Fortuna Dusseldorf’s match versus Paderborn wasn’t quite as exciting. Uwe Rosler’s team could merely manage a nil-nil draw with bottom club Paderborn at home. The result leaves Fortuna Dusseldorf in the relegation playoff place and four points away from safety. The club are chasing Mainz and Augsburg, and a win on Sunday could take them closer to salvation.
The good news for Rosler’s team is five points separate them from Werder Bremen in 17th place. The relegation playoff place offers Fortuna Dusseldorf a bit of room for mistakes down the stretch.
Koln are almost assured a place in the top flight next term as they sit 10 points above Fortuna Dusseldorf. After last weekend’s draw, Markus Gisdol’s team are six points off of sixth place and the final Europa League qualification place. Can Koln claw their way toward sixth place or will Fortuna Dusseldorf gain a major victory away from home?
Fortuna Dusseldorf defeated Koln in their previous meeting this season, 2-0. The Reds scored on either side of halftime to take all three points from the Billy Goats. Rouwen Hennings opened the scoring for Fortuna Dusseldorf with a goal from the penalty spot in the first half. Erik Thommy added a goal in the second half to claim all three points.
Playing on the road hasn’t been Fortuna Dusseldorf’s strong point. They have the third-lowest away points total in the Bundesliga with just 10 points from 39 possible. The good news for Rosler is that Fortuna Dusseldorf are unbeaten in three straight away fixtures claiming five points from their last nine.
Koln are coming off of a home draw versus Mainz and have been good at the Rhein Energy Stadion. The Goats have taken 20 points from 39 possible at home with a +4-goal difference. The 2013-14 Bundesliga 2 season was the last time that Koln hosted Fortuna Dusseldorf at the Rhein Energy Stadion. That match finished 1-1 with Koln coming from a goal down in the second half to level the scoreline.
Koln go into the match at betting odds of 5/6 for the win. Fortuna Dusseldorf can be backed at odds of 17/5.
Gisdol is watching on the fitness of two players heading into the game. Centre-back Rafael Czichos is working to get back to full fitness to play on Sunday. Midfielder Niklas Hauptmann is also fighting for fitness. Gisdol has a clean bill of health otherwise for Fortuna Dusseldorf’s arrival.
Rosler has far worse issues with squad health and availability for the fixture. Defensive specialist Kaan Ayhan will sit out the fixture due to a suspension. Striker Dawid Kownacki is also ruled out of matchday 27 due to a knee injury. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Zack Steffen is also out of the game due to a knee issue.
Back-up goalkeeper Florian Kastenmeier will take Steffen’s place in goal and could solidify himself as the team’s No. 1 with another solid performance. Striker Bernard Tekpetey may also miss out on the fixture due to a thigh strain, but Rosler will hold off on making a decision on the striker until closer to matchday 27.
Striker Rouwen Hennings will be counted on by Rosler to lead the Fortuna Dusseldorf attack. The forward has scored 11 league goals to lead the team in scoring. Thommy has added five.
Both teams to score - 4/6 - BET NOW
Koln are coming off of an entertaining home 2-2 draw with Mainz. The team have seen their last three games finish with both teams finding the back of the net. Although Fortuna Dusseldorf finished nil-nil last time out versus Paderborn, they saw four of their previous five games finish with both teams scoring goals. Two of the last three meetings between Koln and Fortuna Dusseldorf in all competitions finished with both teams scoring goals.
Over 2.5 goals scored - 4/6 - BET NOW
Six straight Koln matches have ended with over 2.5 goals scored. The Goats have been very good going forward under Gisdol but at the same time have been guilty of conceding goals at the opposite end. Two of Fortuna Dusseldorf’s last five matches in the Bundesliga ended with over 2.5 goals being scored. One of the teams’ last three meetings ended in both teams finding the back of the net.
Rouwen Hennings to score any time - 7/4 - BET NOW
Fortuna Dusseldorf’s leading scorer Rouwen Hennings found the back of the net when the teams met earlier this season. The forward scored from the penalty spot in the 38th minute setting Fortuna Dusseldorf on the path to victory. The 32-year-old veteran has scored 11 times in 25 Bundesliga matches. Hennings has hit a drought, however, not scoring since matchday 17. He is now nine games without a goal while struggling for full fitness. Hennings did not play the full 90 minutes last weekend playing on 29 minutes in the draw versus Paderborn.
Koln are a solid team but blow hot and cold at times. Last weekend they played well for 60 minutes against Mainz only to throw away a two-goal lead. Gisdol’s team’s inconsistencies could cost them on Sunday at home. Fortuna Dusseldorf will be a difficult side to defeat as they fight for relegation survival.
Fortuna Dusseldorf picked up a 2-0 win earlier this season when the two sides met. This time out should see a closer fixture with a possible draw occurring at the Rhein Energie Stadion. Koln could stutter again and give Fortuna Dusseldorf a lifeline in the fight for survival.
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