Germany: Bundesliga
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FC Köln
J. Njinmah (70)
By Ben Sully@SullyBen

FC Köln vs. Werder Bremen preview: Visitors targeting more away success

Werder Bremen will attempt to clinch a third consecutive away win when they face FC Köln on Friday.

FC Köln

Köln are currently sitting in the relegation playoff spot after winning three, drawing seven and losing 11 of their 21 home matches this season. Die Geißböcke were agonisingly close to claiming their fourth league win of the season against Hoffenheim last weekend. Max Finkgräfe thought he had claimed all three points with his 79th-minute effort, only for Andrej Kramarić to equalise in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Although they have now won just one of their previous eight league matches, Köln have at least managed to avoid defeat in each of their last three games (W1, D2). After beating Eintracht Frankfurt in their previous outing at the RheinEnergieStadion, Friday’s hosts will have the chance to record consecutive home victories in the Bundesliga for the first time since October 2022.

Köln will certainly have fond memories of their most recent home meeting with Bremen in January 2023 when they racked up five first-half goals on their way to picking up a dominant 7-1 victory.
Team News

Timo Schultz is unable to call upon the injured trio of Davie Selke, Luca Waldschmidt and Mark Uth, while Julian Chabot will serve a one-match suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards.

Werder Bremen

Bremen will be looking for a positive response after their seven-game unbeaten league run (W4, D3) was brought to an end by Heidenheim last weekend. Die Werderaner went into the fixture with the aim of clinching a fourth consecutive victory, but those hopes were dented by two Heidenheim goals in the opening 18 minutes. Although Roman Schmid quickly pulled a goal back, Bremen were unable to find an equaliser, ensuring they fell to their first Bundesliga defeat since early December.

Despite being edged out last weekend, Bremen can still be pleased to be sitting in the comfort of midtable with 10 points separating them from Köln and six points between themselves and the top six.

They will now head on their travels for Friday’s fixture, where they will have the opportunity to record three consecutive away wins in the Bundesliga for the first time since May 2020. The visitors will also be looking to produce another strong defensive performance after keeping clean sheets in their last two road trips, which produced 1-0 victories over Bayern Munich and Mainz.
Team News

Bremen are without Niklas Stark, Milos Veljkovic, Amos Pieper and Leon Opitz due to injury. Meanwhile, Naby Keita and Leonardo Bittencourt are both doubts for Friday’s contest.

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