TSG in Cologne: Take the positives from Dortmund

Markus Gisdol's side will face 1. FC Köln away from home on Sunday (15:30 CEST). TSG are coming up against a well organised team with a passionate crowd behind them. But for those who played in the cup match in Dortmund, that's something they will be used to...

Markus Gisdol on…

…the opponents:

It's a very different game compared to the meeting earlier this season. They have made it very difficult to play against them in their stadium too and have become much more reliable at home. Even if they have only won one of them, they haven't lost any of their last six matches on home soil. We know that Köln are a well organised, defensive-minded team. We need to be wary of them though, as we saw in the home game.


It's looking like we will have the same squad that we had for the game in Dortmund. The players have worked off the 120 minutes and have been resting over the last few days. It's too early for David Abraham to return from his injury so he still won't be back.

...the current situation:

It wasn't easy for the team to get over being knocked out of the cup. We played very well but we came away with nothing despite such a strong performance. But now we have to move on and we want to carry that same level of performance into the game against Köln.

Roberto Firmino on…

...the current situation:

The team's morale is good. Obviously we were disappointed that we were knocked out the cup. The most important thing for us though is that we played well. The game has given us so much confidence and we are positive that we can put in another performance like we did in Dortmund.

Things aren't going as well for me personally as in previous seasons. The main issue is that I still haven't scored many goals. But I am constantly working hard on improving and giving 100 percent in training because I think that how you train reflects in your performances. Plus, I obviously want to do as best as possible for the team and myself. We're playing well as a team and we're closer to the European places than we have been in previous seasons.


TSG and Köln have faced each other nine times in the Bundesliga and the record is completely even. Both teams have won three games each and the remaining three have ended in draws. It's also even after two games in the DFB Cup, with a win for both sides. You have to look back at the second-division clashes for someone to be on top, with the side from Cologne recording two wins from two games.

The opponents' form:

Köln have the fifth-best defence in the league. Just like TSG, the Billy Goats have collected eleven points in the second half of the season. They have recorded just two points and one goal in their last three games though. On top of that, they aren't overly threatening at home, despite the fantastic atmosphere in their stadium. They have won just one of their five games on home soil in 2015, while the Rhineland club have only kept all three points in Cologne on just two occasions all season, making them the second-worst home team in the Bundesliga.

Key battles:

Köln have established themselves as a very disciplined and defensive side in the Bundesliga under Peter Stöger. Their unattractive, but effective style has led to them conceding just 33 goals all season. TSG can expect the same on Sunday, allowing Hoffenheim to take the initiative, but there won't be much space for them on the pitch. If TSG can find gaps without losing their own balance, they can definitely pick up points in Cologne.

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