Koln vs Mainz 05
RheinEnergy Stadion, Koln
Sunday, 16-05-2020 @4pm
Ref: Martin Petersen
Koln secured promotion back to the Bundesliga by winning Germany’s second tier last season, and Markus Gisdol’s side have enjoyed a productive campaign to date, picking up 32 points from their 25 matches to occupy 10th position in the table.
The Cologne-based outfit are currently 10 points clear of the bottom three and have won 10 of their 25 league fixtures this term, which is a strong record for a newly-promoted outfit.
Koln, who have actually won the Bundesliga on two occasions, were also in strong form before football was called to a halt in March, winning three of their last four league encounters.
Gisdol’s team actually thumped Hertha Berlin 5-0 before beating Schalke 04 3-0 on home soil, although they did suffer a 2-1 defeat at Borussia Monchengladbach in their last fixture on March 11.
Koln have won five of their last six Bundesliga matches in front of their own supporters, meanwhile, with the only disappointment during that run being a 4-1 reverse to champions Bayern Munich on February 16.
Mainz, meanwhile, currently occupy 15th position in the table, just four points clear of 16th-placed Fortuna Dusseldorf with both teams having played 25 matches.
Fifteen defeats from 25 games is an indication of the team’s struggles this term, but they have only lost one of their last five in the Bundesliga, beating Paderborn and drawing with Dusseldorf in their last two.
Mainz have also recorded some standout results on their travels in the league this season, putting five past both Hoffenheim and Werder Bremen in the latter stages of 2019, in addition to recording a 3-1 victory at Hertha on February 8.
Achim Beierlorzer’s side have now been present in the top flight of German football since 2009, but they could find themselves in a difficult spot if they do not hit the ground running in the coming weeks.
Rafael Czichos, Niklas Hauptmann and Ismail Jakobs are all doubtful for Koln, but Jhon Cordoba, who has scored 10 Bundesliga goals this season, is available after a slight concern and should continue at the top end of the field.
Sebastian Bornauw should also start, having recovered from a muscular injury, while former Queens Park Rangers captain Toni Leistner should keep his spot in defence.
Mark Uth was on the scoresheet in the 2-1 defeat at Gladbach last time out, and the 28-year-old should again be handed a spot in the XI alongside Dominick Drexler.
As for Mainz, Jean-Philippe Mateta will miss out through suspension, having picked up a red card in the 1-1 draw with Dusseldorf last time out, opening the door for Adam Szalai to start at centre-forward.
Robin Zentner is out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury, meanwhile, meaning that Florian Muller is expected to feature between the sticks.
Danny Latza and Stefan Bell could be in contention following back and ankle injuries, and it would not be a surprise to see the former handed a spot in the starting XI.
The first meeting between the two sides this season saw Mainz win 3-1.
Sunday’s other game
-Union Berlin vs Bayern Munich @7pm
Bundesliga results: Saturday, 16-05-2020
-Dortmund 4-0 Schalke O4
-Hoffenheim 0-3 Hertha Berlin
-Dusseldorf 0-0 Paderbon
-Augsburg 1-2 Wolfsburg
-RB Leipzig 1-1 Freiburg
-Frankfurt 1-3 Monchengladbach
Bundesliga upcoming fixture
-Werder Bremen vs Bayer Leverkusen @9:30pm