German Bundesliga - Cologne vs. RB Leipzig - Preview & Prediction
By Valdis Pans
After dropping eight points in their last five contests, 4th-placed RB Leipzig find themselves in a fight to finish the season in the top-four, hoping to get back on track while paying a visit to 11th-placed Cologne, who sit seven points above the bottom three. Kick-off - at 14:30 PM ET on Monday, June 1.
Cologne Lose In Hoffenheim
Cologne lost for the first time in six games (W3 D2 L1) after being dealt a 3-1 loss by Hoffenheim away at PreZero Arena on Wednesday. The Billy Goats outshot the hosts 17-8 and dominated in ball possession (56%), but allowed four consecutive snipes in the first 48 minutes of the contest (with one goal ruled out by VAR), played with 10 men from the 26th minute until minute 50 (when Hoffenheim also had a player sent off), and missed a penalty through Mark Uth, with Florian Kainz ending up being the only scorer for the visitors. Cologne sit 11th in the Bundesliga with a W10 D4 L14 showing, seven points above relegation.
Colombian marksman Jhon Cordoba leads Cologne in goals, having netted 11 markers this season, including four in his past six appearances. Goalie Timo Horn, meanwhile, sits 9th in the league with 73 saves made so far this year. He has recorded six clean sheets in 28 starts this season, allowing a goal every 48 minutes on average. Cologne have scored the 7th highest quantity of strikes this season (44), while having registered the 8th highest number of shots per game (13.3). They are 12th in ball possession (47.6%) and 13th in passing accuracy (76.8%).
Leipzig Draw With Hertha Berlin
RB Leipzig dropped another two precious points after collecting their fourth draw in the last five games (W1 D4) following a 2-2 tie against resurging Hertha Berlin at Red Bull Arena on Wednesday. Despite playing with 10 men following Marcel Halstenberg’s second booking on the 63rd minute, the Red Bulls still led 2-1 until the visitors tied the proceedings from the penalty spot with eight minutes to go. RB Leipzig are unbeaten in nine Bundesliga games (W3 D6) and sit 4th in the standings (W15 D10 L3), trailing the 3rd-placed Bayern Leverkusen, 2nd-placed Borussia Dortmund, and 1st-placed Bayern Munich by one, two, and 12 points respectively. Bayer and Bayern have played an extra game.
Having picked up 24 goals this year in the Bundesliga, German striker Timo Werner leads his troops in scoring. He has failed to find the back of the net in four of his past five outings, though, with his only contribution coming in the form of a hat trick against Mainz on May 24. Goalie Peter Gulacsi, meanwhile, occupies the 11th place in the league in saves, having stopped 72 shots in 27 appearances this year. He has posted nine clean sheets and gives up a goal every 90 minutes. The Red Bulls are 3rd in most goals buried this season (70), 2nd in most shots taken (16.4) and 4th in both ball possession (54.0%) and passing accuracy (82.6%).
Four draws in their last five fixtures and eight points lost throughout the stretch in total mean RB Leipzig are now battling for a top-four finish, rather than the Bundesliga title. 5th-placed Borussia Monchengladbach is hot on the Red Bulls’ heels, sitting just two points below them. So, Leipzig is in dire need of victories. Cologne is not an easy opponent, mind! The team was riding a three-game winning run just before the coronavirus break. It has, however, managed to collect just two points from a possible nine right after the Bundesliga restart. Furthermore, the Billy Goats have already lost three of their past four meetings with the Red Bulls, who have gone unbeaten for nine straight league games (W3 D6), winning two of their past three travels (W2 D1), keeping a clean sheet in four consecutive road outings. Do back Patrik Schick to score a goal here as well! The 24-year-old Czech forward, who has scored three times in his last five Bundesliga starts is expected to spearhead RB Leipzig’s attack, with Timo Werner dropping deeper.
RB Leipzig to win (-180)
RB Leipzig to keep a clean sheet (+185)
Patrik Schick to score anytime (+160)