RB Leipzig vs. FC Köln preview: Timo Werner’s homecoming
By Jonathan Dicks @Jonathan_Dicks
Timo Werner is back at home in a Leipzig shirt, as they face off against the Billy Goats on Matchday 2.
|Timo Werner.||Photo: GEPA Pictures/Sven Sonntag|
Leipzig struggled to convert their opportunities in a 1-1 draw against Stuttgart on Matchday 1. However, this problem could be solved immediately with the introduction of one man, and one man only.
Leipzig's record goalscorer is looking to rediscover his world-class talent, as he’s set to play in his first Bundesliga outing since 2020. Even with a plethora of attackers, manager Domenico Tedesco hinted that Werner may even start right away.
Tedesco added that, "Of course we want to win every game, including the last one against Stuttgart. Looking at our squad at the moment, the excitement outweighs the pressure. Especially when we have midweek games, we'll have several options…Köln will put in a lot of crosses, even though they don't have Anthony Modeste anymore. We have to know how to deal with this and avoid them.”
Against Stuttgart, Tedesco played a 3-4-1-2 formation which could be used yet again. Right-back Benjamin Henrichs started in the middle of the park and should be the preferred option amongst a crowded midfield group. Young Spanish right-back Hugo Novoa may start again opposite Leipzig's new crossing-machine, David Raum.
Yussuf Poulsen and Lukas Klostermann are out with injuries, while Konrad Laimer is questionable with an ankle issue.
It’s a bit of a strange feeling in Köln without star striker Anthony Modeste, who’s left for Dortmund. But, they are coming off a big 3-1 victory to open the new campaign against Schalke.
Players such as winger Florian Kainz and no. 6 Ellyes Skhiri will be forced to shoulder a bigger role with Modeste officially out of the team. Young defender Luca Kilian scored against Schalke on Matchday 1, but he and 24-year-old center-back partner Julian Chabot will have their hands full stopping a speedy Leipzig squad.
From the first whistle, coach Steffen Baumgart states that, “We want to put pressure on all positions, start up and switch quickly.” The lively trainer also said, “Leipzig has a high individual quality. But that doesn't interest me. For me, it's about us wanting to do our thing.”
Mark Uth is out with a groin problem, while Steffen Tigges and Dimitris Limnios are also unavailable due to injuries. Tigges is currently working his way back with Köln’s reserves, but isn’t quite yet ready for first team football after moving from Dortmund in the summer window.