Holstein Kiel and FC Köln vie for Bundesliga status next season when they meet in the second leg of their promotion/relegation play-off on Saturday at 5pm (UK time).
Kiel head into this second leg with a 1-0 advantage after Simon Lorenz’s second-half strike during the first leg in Köln on Wednesday.
How to live stream Holstein Kiel vs FC Köln online:
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Where to watch Holstein Kiel vs FC Köln on TV:
- UK: BT Sport 2
- US: ESPN+
Scoreline prediction: Holstein Kiel 1-1 FC Köln
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Holstein Kiel vs FC Köln build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
It’s already been a remarkable season for The Storks, who famously beat Bayern Munich en route to the DFB-Pokal semi-final, where they eventually came up short against winners Borussia Dortmund. Ole Werner also guided his side to a third-place finish in the 2. Bundesliga and after their 1-0 first-leg win earlier this week, Kiel are now tantalisingly close to reaching the top-flight for the first time in their history.
But Kiel will know the job is far from done. Köln have spent the past two decades bouncing between the top two divisions in German football and will be desperate to avoid another relegation here. Prior to their first-leg defeat to Kiel, the Billy Goats lost just one of their last five Bundesliga matches to leave themselves with a fighting chance of retaining their top-flight status.
- Holstein Kiel (vs FC Köln): Gelios; Neumann, Wahl, Komenda, Van den Bergh; Ignjovski; Bartels, Lee, Hauptmann, Porath; Serra.
- FC Köln (vs Holstein Kiel): Horn; Schmitz, Bornauw, Czichos, Katterbach; Ozcan, Skhiri; Wolf, Duda, Jakobs; Hector.
Ahmet Arslan is sidelined with an ACL injury while Johannes van den Bergh is suspended thanks to yellow card accumulation. Mikkel Kirkeskov and Stefan Thesker have an outside chance of making the matchday squad as they near recovery from respective hand and Achilles problems.
Sebastian Andersson is struggling to overcome a knee problem but should still play a part for the visitors given the importance of this fixture.
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Players to watch:
- Holstein Kiel: Though it was Simon Lorenz who gave Kiel the lead in the first leg, it’s Janni Serra who will have the best chance of extending his side’s advantage this time around. The 23-year-old forward enjoyed a fine season in the 2. Bundesliga, scoring a team-high 13 goals and notching a further three assists. Serra ended the regular season with two goals in his final two games and Köln will have to be at their defensive best if they’re to keep a lid on this striker’s aerial prowess and natural finishing ability.
- FC Köln: What Köln need most in this second leg are leaders and in that respect, Jonas Hector‘s involvement here cannot be emphasised enough. The 43-time Germany international is an absolute legend in these parts, wearing the captain’s armband and staying with The Billy Goats during their previous relegation in 2018 despite being discernibly too good for the second tier. He helped the club bounce back at the first time of asking, but he will be determined not to have to go through a similar process this time. Despite being behind, Köln must not panic and it’ll be up to Hector to keep level heads within his ranks.
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