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FC Koln vs Werder Bremen Preview: Cologne on the rise under new coach

Since the dismissal of former coach Steffen Baumgart, FC Koln have found renewed vigor under Timo Schultz (1 win, 3 draws, 1 loss), scoring first in all four games that have earned them points.

After conceding a late equalizer at Hoffenheim last weekend (1-1), the home side felt they dropped two important points as they start this matchday five points adrift of the safety zone. However, the result allows them to go into their third consecutive league game without a defeat for the first time this season (1 win, 2 draws).

Their only defeat in 2024 came at home, and even though the hosts go into this match with the third-worst home record in the Bundesliga this season (2 wins, 3 draws, 5 losses), four of those five defeats have come against teams in the current Top 8, a position which visitors Werder Bremen do not occupy. Koln have at least beaten one of those eight teams in Frankfurt in their last home league game (2-0), and having not lost in this fixture at home since 2005 (5 wins, 6 draws), success could be on the cards.

Werder Bremen’s Inconsistent Form

Werder Bremen started 2024 with a bang, going unbeaten in their first four games (3 wins, 1 draw) and winning three in a row, something they had not done in the Bundesliga since March 2019. However, the celebrations of the club’s 125th anniversary were spoiled by a 2-1 home defeat to Heidenheim last weekend, a result that is their first league defeat in seven games (4 wins, 3 draws) and dents their hopes of European qualification.

The “River Islanders” have particularly shone away from home of late, where they are unbeaten in four outings (2 wins, 2 draws), a run that includes a memorable victory against Bayern Munich. In fact, this run has seen them pick up eight of their nine away points this season, but they may need another fast start to build on that result, as the visitors have taken just one point away from games where they have conceded the first goal.

Key Players to Watch:

Faride Alidou has scored two goals in FC Koln’s last three games, opening the scoring each time.

Justin Njinmah has been directly involved in six Bundesliga goals this season (4 goals, 2 assists), and Bremen have avoided defeat in all five league games where he has contributed (3 wins, 2 draws).

Hot Stat:

In the Bundesliga, Koln have scored exactly two goals in ten games (1 win, 6 draws, 3 losses), more than any other team.

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