FC Köln vs. RB Leipzig preview:
Baumgart's side go for the upset
By Jonathan Dicks @Jonathan_Dicks
The Red Bull club look to continue their hot streak at the RheinEnergieStadion on Matchday 19 where Köln will be trying to further distance themselves from the relegation zone.
|Steffen Baumgart.||Photo: Sandro Halank, Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA 3.0|
Köln are off to a bit of a confusing start in 2023. Steffen Baumgart’s side absolutely thrashed Werder Bremen 7-1 to start the new year and then admirably drew away to Bayern Munich.
Yet, they followed that up with an extremely disappointing 0-0 result against lowly Schalke on Matchday 18. At 12th in the table, Köln supporters cannot be comfortable with six points between themselves and the relegation playoff spot.
In his press conference, Baumgart commented, “We want to keep going on our path. We have Leipzig, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Wolfsburg and Union on the horizon. We have to work hard in our coming games. The relegation battle will go on to the final day and until we are officially safe.”
The Billy Goats are still dealing with a lengthy injury list that includes Mark Uth, Florian Dietz, Sebastian Andersson, Dimitrios Limnios, Kristian Pedersen and Luca Kilian.
New signing Davie Selke is likely to feature in the squad for the first time on Saturday.
The Red Bull club took care of business against Hoffenheim in the DFB-Pokal, but have a quick turnaround to get ready for Matchday 19. Now remarkably sitting 3rd in the table after some early season stumbles, Leipzig control their own fate in the Bundesliga title race.
Even with Christopher Nkunku sidelined, Marco Rose continues to work wonders and churn out consistent results. Dominik Szoboszlai has been in fine form this season and Janis Blaswich has filled in nicely ever since taking over between the sticks.
When asked about Baumgart, Rose stated, "Baumi is a fantastic person and he's always a good sport. He has a clear footballing idea and has developed that well in Paderborn."
Nkunku, Dani Olmo, Abdou Diallo and captain Peter Gulacsi will remain sidelined with their respective injuries. Josko Gvardiol is a question mark for the starting 11.