For 1. FC Köln, the stark contrast in sporting fortunes between this season and last largely comes down the fitness of strikers Sebastian Andersson and Anthony Modeste.
Neither one of the veteran strikers were available to head-coach Markus Gisdol last year. Whereas the previous trainer frequently had to deploy Ondrej Duda as his lone striker, Steffen Baumgart reflected upon his luck at his Wednesday presser.
He also told journalists that both would start in Sinsheim on Friday.
|Anthony Modeste.||Photo: Marco Verch/Creative Commons|
Personnel-wise, there were many questions for Geißböcke to address at his final pre-match press conference yesterday. One matter that did not seem to be doubt concerned whether he would roll out two strikers. Moreover, it didn't seem to be a mystery who those forwards would be.
French attacker Anthony Modeste has scored four league goals thus far in the young season. Sweden's Sebastian Andersson got his first tally last round against Fürth, but has largely turned in very impressive performances in his time on the pitch."
"That the two would again come into such form wasn't anticipated," Baumgart noted in his Wednesday presser, "Not even by us. They both produce scoring chances and both work very well against the ball. What sets them apart is that they both work very well."
Baumgart took care to emphasize that he treated neither as a sacred cow. The Effzeh trainer told reporters that he had no qualms about taking either one off the pitch were they not performing well. He even said that he informed the duo to this effect.
When it came to the matter of whether they would both start, however, Baumgart didn't feel the need to shy away from a commitment.
"The two support one another very well," he said, "When you have two 'alpha dogs' up front, the next task is to ensure that the attacking lanes are well drawn up. I can tell you that I will start both of them, provided they are healthy."