Preview: Borussia Dortmund vs. FC Koln (15:30h. CET) - Team news, lineups

Borussia Dortmund host FC Koln in the Bundesliga on Saturday, with the home side looking to close the gap between themselves and leaders Bayern Munich for a second successive matchday.

The visitors, meanwhile, dropped into the bottom two of the table last weekend after losing at home to Union Berlin.

Dortmund were at their scintillating best at Lucien Favre's former club Hertha Berlin last weekend, running out 5-2 winners after an enthralling second-half performance, which saw Erling Braut Haaland incredibly score four goals.

BVB had gone into the half-time interval behind, though, after Matheus Cunha's long-range effort superbly bent around Roman Burki in an otherwise fairly subdued first half.

However, the game exploded into action after the break, with Haaland tapping into an empty net after an excellent driving run and cross by Emre Can. Haaland then typically timed his run to perfection to latch onto Julian Brandt's through ball, firing into the far post beyond opposing goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow, before the Norway striker completed his hat-trick by capitalising on Omar Alderete's loose touch and rounding Schwolow with ease.

Raphael Guerreiro extended the visitors' lead by prodding home from close range before Matteo Guendouzi, on loan from Arsenal, tumbled over from minimal contact to allow Cunha to double his tally from the spot. Haaland later scored his fourth of the game to add more gloss on the rout, taking Dortmund to within a point of title rivals Bayern after the Bavarians surprisingly dropped points at home to Werder Bremen.

The 20-year-old, who recently won the Golden Boy award to officially be recognised as the most talented player under the age of 21 in world football, increased his tally to 22 in competitive matches for club and country this season in the 3-0 win over Club Brugge in the Champions League in midweek.

It would be fair to say that Koln are not enjoying themselves as much as their forthcoming opponents so far this season, having failed to win any of their opening eight games. Their winless run in the Bundesliga now stretches to a club-record equalling 18 matches from last season.

They were up against it from early in the game against the in-form Union Berlin, with forward Taiwo Awoniyi, who is on loan from Liverpool, putting the visitors ahead after the ball fell kindly to him in the penalty area. Koln struck back through Ellyes Skhiri's close range header after Marcus Ingvartsen had tripped Marius Wolf on the edge of the area to give away a free kick in what proved to be a very dangerous area.

However, Ingvartsen redeemed himself by winning a penalty for his side in the 72nd minute, with Max Kruse stepping up aiming to set a new Bundesliga record of 17 consecutively-converted penalties. Inevitably, he struck straight at goalkeeper Timo Horn, but crucially he scored from the rebound to leave Markus Gisdol's side staring in the face of yet another defeat.

Koln struck the bar in the dying seconds, but ultimately they did not ever really look like earning the point which would have kept them out of the relegation places. It seems extremely unlikely Koln will be anywhere else come the full-time whistle in Dortmund on Saturday given the form the two sides are in.

Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga form: WWWWLW
Borussia Dortmund form (all competitions): WWWLWW

FC Koln Bundesliga form: LDDLDL

Team News

Having suffered with several injuries prior to the recent international break, Favre's squad is in good shape now, with only Reinier (coronavirus) and Marcel Schmelzer (knee) unavailable for the visit of Koln.

Brandt and Marco Reus may be competing for a return to the starting lineup having been used from the bench against Brugge in midweek, with Mahmoud Dahoud and Axel Witsel set to come back into the midfield in place of Thomas Delaney and recent England debutant Jude Bellingham.

The visitors, meanwhile, are missing the experience of defender Jonas Hector (neck) and striker Anthony Modeste (back), with Florian Kainz still sidelined after undergoing knee surgery.

Gisdol may look to mix things up after a disappointing performance against Union Berlin, with the likes of Dimitrios Limnios, Kingsley Ehizibue and Elvis Rexhbecaj all vying for a start should he do so.

Borussia Dortmund possible starting lineup:
Burki; Can, Hummels, Akanji; Meunier, Witsel, Dahoud, Guerreiro; Sancho, Reus; Haaland

FC Koln possible starting lineup:
Horn; Wolf, Mere, Czichos, Katterbach; Drexler, Duda, Skhiri, Ozcan, Jakobs; Andersson

Source: Sports Mole / Brett Curtis 

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