RB Leipzig will look to get back to winning ways when they travel to Cologne in the Bundesliga on Tuesday at 5.30pm (UK time).
Julian Nagelsmann’s side could only manage a goalless stalemate against Hoffenheim at the weekend, which has now extended the gap between themselves in second and reigning champions Bayern Munich in first to seven points.
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Where to watch Cologne vs RB Leipzig on TV:
- UK: BT Sport 2
- US: ESPN+
Scoreline prediction: Cologne 0-2 RB Leipzig
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Cologne vs RB Leipzig build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Having failed to navigate Cologne away from the relegation trap door Markus Gisdol was relieved of his duties earlier this month, with former Frankfurt manager Friedhelm Funkel stepping in to steady the ship and help drag The Billy Goats away from danger. As it stands, Cologne are 17th but only four points from safety.
RB Leipzig meanwhile will be hoping to put their disappointing result against Hoffenheim at the weekend behind them and remain hot on Bayern’s heels. A seven-point gap seems almost insurmountable at this stage of the campaign against a juggernaut of Bayern’s capacity, but Nagelsmann will be determined to keep up the pressure and continue asking questions of the current table-toppers.
- Cologne (vs Bayer Leverkusen): T Horn; Ehizibue, Bornauw, Czichos, J Horn; Skhiri, Hector, Wolf, Meyer, Kainz; Bonaventure.
- RB Leipzig (vs Hoffenheim): Gulacsi; Orban, Konate, Upamecano; Mukiele, Olmo, Adams, Sabitzer, Angelino; Forsberg, Nkunku.
Ondrej Duda returns from his one-match suspension, but the hosts are set to be without Sebastian Andersson for the remainder of the campaign. For Leipzig, Justin Kluivert and Konrad Laimer are both sidelined, while January recruit Dominik Szoboszlai remains out of action and yet to make his debut for the club.
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Players to watch:
- Cologne: Having found playing time scarce at Crystal Palace, whom Max Meyer joined from Schalke in 2018, the four-capped Germany international left Selhurst Park by mutual consent in January and has since joined the survival fight at Cologne. The 25-year-old was tipped for huge heights during his nascent years in Gelsenkirchen, but for one reason or another, Meyer just couldn’t acclimatise to the hustle and bustle of Premier League football and ultimately remained a bit-part player during his three-year stint in south London. Now back in the Bundesliga, Meyer will be hoping to recapture his early Schalke form, and if he does, that could be the difference between safety and relegation for Cologne.
- RB Leipzig: There are few players as important to Nagelsmann’s high-octane set-up than captain Marcel Sabitzer, who hugely underpins the high-press philosophy of Leipzig’s burgeoning tactician. The Austrian is a world-class utility man, able to slot in where necessity dictates, either in central midfield, on the wing or even up front, but it’s in the middle of the park where he is most effective. With an exceptionally high work rate and an elite engine, Sabitzer brings bundles of energy to Leipzig set-up, able to suffocate and overwhelm opposition teams with a press-and-possess system that is difficult to counter. With Sabitzer tearing about the turf in typically tenacious fashion, Cologne could struggle to get a foothold on the contest, unless the likes of Meyer and the experienced Jonas Hector can bring composure to the turf.
Bundesliga 2020/21 recent form:
- Cologne: LLLDL
- RB Leipzig: DWLWD
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