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Nov 7, 2021 at 4.30pm UK
FC KolnFC Koln
Union BerlinUnion Berlin
Modeste (7', 86')
Modeste (17'), Duda (54')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Ryerson (9'), Promel (45+1')
Baumgartl (16'), Luthe (18')

Preview: FC Koln vs. Union Berlin - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: FC Koln vs. Union Berlin - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Bundesliga clash between FC Koln and Union Berlin, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

FC Koln and Union Berlin will look to continue their relatively positive starts to the Bundesliga campaign when they do battle at the RheinEnergieStadion on Sunday.

The hosts suffered defeat at Borussia Dortmund last weekend but remain in a solid mid-table position, whilst the visitors continue their disruption of the usual 'big hitters' by occupying a European spot once more.

Match preview

Koln's 2-0 defeat in Dortmund last weekend was obviously not the ideal result, but it was far from disastrous considering the calibre of opponent and the performance put in by Steffen Baumgart's side.

Although they created fewer clear-cut chances in front of goal than their title-challenging hosts, the Billy Goats registered a 58% share of possession and attempted 21 shots to BVB's eight.

This display meant that despite the result, Koln continued their impressive start to the campaign under Baumgart since his arrival in the summer.

Narrowly avoiding relegation in recent years, Baumgart has led Koln to 11th place after the opening 10 matchdays, sitting a healthy four points above Augsburg in the relegation playoff spot at the time of writing.

Home wins over Greuther Furth, VfL Bochum and Hertha Berlin, a two-goal comeback draw against neighbours Bayer Leverkusen, and a 1-1 draw with RB Leipzig mean Koln remain unbeaten in front of their own supporters, in what has been a tricky set of fixtures to open the season with.

In fact, the only three defeats Baumgart's side have suffered so far this campaign have been the losses away at Bayern Munich, Hoffenheim and Dortmund, which is a respectable return considering the relatively low expectations at the Rhineland side.

Meanwhile, visitors Union have started the campaign impressively yet again under manager Urs Fischer.

After leading the capital side to an excellent seventh-placed finish in 2020-21, Fischer has led them to sixth so far in 2021-22 heading into Sunday's trip to Koln, as they continue to overachieve since their return to the top flight in Germany.

A significant reason for their success in the last couple of years has been the sensational home record at the Stadion An der alten Forsterei, although their run of 21 Bundesliga games without defeat there was brought to a crashing end by leaders Bayern last weekend.

Despite putting in a respectable display and managing to score two goals through Niko Giesselmann and Julian Ryerson, Union could do little to stop the Bavarians, at their clinical best, recording a 5-2 victory.

Results on the road will be a slight concern for Fischer ahead of their away trip on Sunday, however, with only five wins from 21 Bundesliga away matches being achieved across the last two seasons, although one of these was the 2-1 triumph in Koln last November.

FC Koln Bundesliga form:
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L

FC Koln form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L

Union Berlin Bundesliga form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L

Union Berlin form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L

Team News

The hosts will be without a trio of injured players on Sunday, with Jannes Horn, Ellyes Skhiri and Niklas Hauptmann being ruled out until after the international break.

Horn and Hauptmann are yet to feature this season, but Skhiri will be a big miss after putting in some vital displays from his defensive-midfielder position.

Dejan Ljubicic will continue to fill in in that area of the pitch, whilst captain Jonas Hector will continue in the left-back role in the absence of Horn.

As for the visitors, they have just the two players to check on ahead of Sunday's trip, with Rick Van Drongelen and Max Kruse doubtful.

The former has tested positive for COVID-19 recently, whilst the latter has been suffering with a thigh strain.

Were Kruse to miss out, much of the goalscoring burden will fall on Taiwo Awoniyi again, who has netted 10 goals across all competitions already this campaign.

FC Koln possible starting lineup:
T Horn; Schmitz, Kilian, Czichos, Hector; Ljubicic; Thielmann, Ozcan, Kainz; Uth, Modeste

Union Berlin possible starting lineup:
Luthe; Friedrich, Knoche, Baumgartl; Trimmel, Khedira, Promel, Giesselmann; Haraguchi; Becker, Awoniyi

We say: FC Koln 1-1 Union Berlin

These sides arrive into this fixture fairly evenly matched, and for this reason we can see this one being a tight affair, with a draw being a likely outcome.

Koln are strong at home and Union struggle on their travels, so despite Union possessing a little extra quality, we believe the hosts will pick up at least a point on Sunday.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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1Bayern MunichBayern1291241132828
2Borussia DortmundDortmund1290330181227
4Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen126332517821
5Union BerlinUnion Berlin125521917220
7RB Leipzig1253423131018
8Mainz 05125341612418
9Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach125341714318
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12FC Koln123631821-315
13VfL BochumVfL Bochum124171019-913
14Hertha Berlin124171226-1413
17Arminia Bielefeld12165918-99
18Greuther Furth120111833-251
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