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FC Köln vs Borussia Dortmund preview:
Die Schwarzgelben bidding for third straight victory

By Ben Sully   @SullyBen

Borussia Dortmund will look to offer a response following Bayern Munich's victory on Saturday, but in their way stands a dangerous FC Köln side.
Axel Witsel.
Axel Witsel.Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0


Köln will be aiming to clinch consecutive victories on Sunday as they look to close the five-point gap to Hoffenheim, who sit in sixth position.

Steffen Baumgart's side picked up a crucial victory last time out, as they squeezed past Bayer Leverkusen thanks to Kingsley Schindler's second-half winner.

The Geißböcke return to the RheinEnergieStadion on Sunday, with their home outings in recent weeks offering mixed results. Köln have lost just three times at home in the Bundesliga this season, but all three of those defeats have occurred in their previous six home league games. However, in that six-match period, Köln have also won on three occasions, suggesting they are struggling to find consistency in home surroundings.

If Sunday's hosts are to be successful against Dortmund then their best work may be done in the second period, with the Geißböcke scoring 17 of their 20 home league goals in the second half this term.
Team News

Baumgart stated in his pre-game press conference that his side will be without a number of players. Illness will prevent Tim Lemperle and Marvin Obuz from taking part, while Schindler misses out for personal reasons. Meanwhile, a thigh problem will sideline Ellyes Skhiri, which will force Baumagart into a midfield change.

Borussia Dortmund

The visitors have rekindled their title hopes in the last week, thanks to back-to-back 1-0 victories over Arminia Bielefeld and Mainz.

Dortmund's midweek win against Die Nullfünfer cut the deficit to four points, but Bayern's 4-0 victory over Union Berlin took the gap back to seven.

As the second-placed side look to claim a third consecutive victory on Sunday, they will be hoping to showcase their newfound defensive resilience after keeping four clean sheets in their last five league games.

Their defensive solidity has slightly compromised their attacking play, with Dortmund netting just once in each of their last three outings, although they can be comforted by the fact that they are still the second-highest scorers in the Bundesliga.

Meanwhile, Rose will be challenging his side to extend their unbeaten run to six matches in all competitions, as Dortmund bid to keep their hopes of winning the Bundesliga title alive.
Team News

Erling Haaland and Giovanni Reyna have both featured off the bench in Dortmund's last two games after recovering from their respective injury issues, and the pair are in contention to start Sunday's contest. Mats Hummels and Raphael Guerreiro could also return, but Marco Reus will miss out once again through illness. Mahmoud Dahoud, meanwhile, is suspended for the encounter due to an accumulation of yellow cards.

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