Köln, after coming off of a tough derby loss, now play host to Hertha BSC, who are chasing the third and final Champions League spot, at the RheinEnergieStadion.
The hosts are right about where they should be in the Bundesliga table, sitting in ninth place on 29 points. Yet, that part of the table, is highly congested with a mere six points separating Köln and Borussia Mönchengladbach who occupy the final Europa League place. One of Köln’s biggest problems this season is that they cannot find the back of the net, scoring a mere 24 goals in 22 matches thus far which is good enough for sixth worst in the league. They will have to score more throughout the rest of the season to maintain their spot on the table.
In their derby match against Gladbach, they held their own, having about as much possession as their rivals and got off just one shot fewer than the hosts that night. Unfortunately, a ninth minute strike from Mahmoud Dahoud stole all three points for BMG.
Hertha BSC need to start finding their 2015 form again if they want to stay up in the top three and fight for a spot in a European competition. They have drawn too many matches, four out of their last five while losing that fifth match. The goals have not come either, being kept off of the score sheet three of those times. Had Hertha managed to turn one point into three a few times more, their cushion would have been much more comfortable than it is at the moment.
Last time out against Wolfsburg, Pal Dardai’s side played admirably, dominating the first half of the match and should have come away with the three points. During the latter half though, Wolfsburg scored eight minutes after the halftime interval following a turnover of possession by Salomon Kalou. Kalou made up for his error on the hour mark when he leveled the affair up at one.
As already mentioned, Salomon Kalou has been one of Hertha’s best footballers all season long, being involved in a majority of his clubs goals, while creating multiple opportunities in the final third of the pitch. He is well on his pace to break his highest goal scoring record, 16, as he has already found the back of the net 11 times in 20 matches played.
For Köln, Anthony Modeste leads the charge from up top as a lone number nine. As a striker, he needs to be able to hold up play while being able to shoot from anywhere around the eighteen yard box – and he does just that. Modeste, a native of Cannes, France, leads his side in goals 10 and is showing no signs of slowing down.
This will be a very contentious affair, neither side will want to give away the ball in a dangerous area so expect things to be very compact early in the match. However, Hertha desperately need three points and will want to ty to open things up in the second half, pushing for a goal and should win the match in the end.