Hertha Berlin vs FC Köln preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups, and ones to watch
Photo by Lars Baron via Getty Images

Hertha Berlin will welcome FC Köln to the Olympic Stadium on Sunday following a winter break from football. Both teams will be hoping to start the new year with a positive result.

Hertha will go into the match having secured a surprising three-goal to two victory over Borussia Dortmund just before the winter break, it means they find themselves sitting in 11th place four points above the relegation places.

Hertha know that a victory on Sunday would put them just one point behind  Köln as well as just three points behind  Eintracht Frankfurt in the final European place providing results also go their way. However, if they lose there is a possibility that they could move down to as low as 15th place.

Like Hertha Köln also went into the winter break having won by one goal to nil against VFB Stuttgart. The result means that ahead of the match they currently sit in 8th place.

Köln know that a victory on Sunday will greatly improve their chances of playing European football next season as they are only two points behind Eintracht Frankfurt in sixth and three behind Bayer Leverkusen in fourth place.

Team News

Hertha head coach Tayfun Korkut has only got several injuries goalkeeper Rune Jarstein is definitely out of contention to play on Sunday while defender Martin Plattenhardt and striker Stevan Jovetic are both doubtful due to injuries they have picked up recently.

Meanwhile, Köln head coach Steffen Baumgart has got several injuries albeit not to key players. Matthias Koobing, Denis Strauch are both out due to injury while Ellyes Skhiri is unavailable due to him competing in the African Cup Of Nations. 

Predicted lineups

Hertha Berlin: Schwolow, Pekarik, Stark, Torunarigha, Mittelstädt Richter, Darida, Serdar, Ekkelenkamp, Selke, Maolida

FC Koln: Schwäbe, Schmitz, Kilian, Hübers, Hector, Özcan, Ljubicic, Duda, Kainz, Andersson, Modeste

Players to watch

Marco Richter

With striker Stevan Jovetic having continuous problems with injury, Hertha have needed someone to step up. That player is Marco Richter.

Richter will come into the match feeling very confident after managing to get a brace against Dortmund before the winter break and with him having scored five goals already this season he will be looking for more.

Anthony Modeste

In terms of key players for Koln the main player who is absolutely crucial is Anthony Modeste who has been by far their best player.

Modeste is miles clear of any other player in terms of goals with 11 goals in 17 matches. No other player at the club has scored more than five goals so far this season, meaning Modeste will be absolutely vital on Sunday.

Last time out

The last time these two faced each other was last August where FC Koln ran out three-one winners.

Hertha Berlin started the match quickly and got an early goal in the fifth minute.  Plattenhardt made great inroads down the left-hand side of the pitch before putting in a cross, however, Matheus Cunha header was straight at the keeper however Jovetic was able to put in the rebound.

The match then slowed down significantly with neither team creating clear-cut chances however then in the 41st minute Köln managed to get a goal back. Jan Thieleman did brilliantly down the right-hand side before whipping in a dangerous cross that Modeste smashed into the top right-hand corner with his head.

Köln started the second half like they finished the first and got an early goal in the 52nd minute. Florian Kainz got away from his markers and headed the ball into the roof of the net, following a ball into the box from one of his teammates.

Köln smelling blood continued to attack and barely three minutes later they got another goal. Benno Schmitz brilliantly engineered some space for himself before sliding a ball through to Kainz who rifled his shot into the left-hand corner of the goal to grab his brace.

Hertha Berlin struggled to create any decent chances in the second half however in the 81st minute Hertha had a great chance to get a goal back.  Plattenheart put a cross into the box that Martin Dardai was able to get on the end of however his header was straight at the goalkeeper.

How to watch

Unfortunately the match will not be shown live in the UK however fans in the US can watch the match on ESPN+.