On Sunday, German side Schalke 04 will face European contenders FC Koln in the RheinEnergieSTADION in a Bundesliga match that has been anticipated since the team’s return to Germany’s top flight with kickoff at 6:30 pm.
Baumgart’s first season in charge of Koln was nothing short of a success. The Billy Goats finished seventh in the Bundesliga after being promoted from the 2.Bundesliga, which is a testament to Baumgart’s coaching abilities.
Koln were only three points behind Freiburg for a Europa League place come the end of last season and will take on either Fehervar or Petrocub Hincesti for their spot in the group stage of Europa League conference league play, but their season has already kicked off on a sour note.
Second-tier side SSV Jahn Regensburg awaited Koln’s arrival for this season’s DFB-Pokal tournament last weekend, and while the Billy Goats managed to recover from a 2-0 deficit to level the scores at 2-2 and force penalties, they were ultimately knocked out.
One cannot forget the scenes of chaos from fans once their relegation to the 2. Bundesliga was confirmed, but Schalke are now back where they belong. The warning signs emerged for Schalke during the earliest days of COVID-19 pandemic, and it was the former who emerged as top dogs with the trophy in the cabinet.
FC Koln vs Schalke Head to Head
Both sides have 22 games against each other with each side taking nine wins and four wins. Here is a look at their previous encounters:
- Jahn Regensburg 2-2 Koln
- Koln 5-0 Nijmegen
- Kickers 0-2 Koln
- Koln 1-2 Milan
- Bremer SV 0-5 Schalke
- FC Twente 3-1 Schalke
- FC Schalke 1-1 Augsburg
- Kufstein 0-5 Schalke
FC Koln Team News
Koln striker Anthony Modeste has a back problem but is expected to recover in time to lead the line against Hoffenheim. Timo Hubers suffered a setback in his recovery from an injury sustained in the cup and may not be ready for the opening day, while Mark Uth was able to recover from an adductor issue in time for that defeat.
Schalke Team News
David Kramer is free to choose from a full squad as Schalke prepare to face RB Leipzig after the international break. Only striker Simon Terrode could be unavailable due to a muscle problem, but captain Danny Latza should be ready to return.
Prediction and Odds
The injuries to Baumgart’s attacking options are not letting up, but we still expect a Modeste-led Billy Goats side to edge a close contest in front of their own fans.
- Home Win
- Goals Over 2.5
- Half Time: 0-0