Germany: Bundesliga
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FC Köln
Hoffenheim
S. Posch (61)
By Ben Sully@SullyBen

FC Köln vs Hoffenheim preview

With Borussia Dortmund's encounter with Mainz postponed, the evening contest at the RheinEnergieStadion represents Bundesliga's only fixture on Sunday.

Köln and Hoffenheim are both in the hunt for European qualification and with just four points separating the two sides, this encounter could be a tightly contested affair.

FC Köln


Köln will be looking for a response after dropping points against Greuther Fürth last weekend. Despite only collecting a point against the bottom-placed side, the Billy Goats remain firmly in the hunt for European qualification.

Steffan Baumgart’s side will be looking forward to Sunday’s home contest, especially as Köln usually do their best work at the RheinEnergieStadion. The Billy Goats have lost just twice at home in the league this term, and they will be aiming for a third consecutive home victory on Sunday.

Köln are usually slow starters in front of their fans, scoring just three goals in the first half of home league games this season. Although, they do finish strong with Köln scoring 10 of their 20 home goals in the final 15 minutes of matches.

Sunday’s hosts will be forced into a change in the centre of defence, with Timo Hübers unavailable after testing positive for COVID-19. Julian Chabot is expected to replace Timo Hübers in the backline.

Hoffenheim


Not only are Hoffenheim in the race for a European qualification place, but they remain firmly in the hunt for a top-four spot. A victory on Sunday would move Hoffenheim into the top four as the race for the Champions League places heats up.

They head to Köln in a rich vein of form after winning their last three matches, including a dramatic 2-1 victory over Stuttgart last time out. Christoph Baumgartner was Hoffenheim’s hero as the 22-year-old scored twice in the final five minutes to wrap up three crucial points.

Their away form has been mixed with their previous six away matches yielding three victories, two defeats and a draw. Hoffenheim have been vulnerable defensively on their travels, having conceded at least two goals in seven of their previous nine away matches

Sebastian Hoeneß is faced with a number of injury problems, with Chris Richards, Robert Skov, Håvard Nordtveit and Sebastian Rudy all among Hoffenheim’s absentees.

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