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Apr 23, 2021 at 7.30pm UK
FC KolnFC Koln
Gumny (54'), Vargas (62')
Gumny (45+2'), Gruezo (52')
FT(HT: 0-3)
Duda (8', 33'), Kainz (23')
Wolf (45'), Rexhbecaj (80'), Duda (90')

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

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

Augsburg take on FC Koln in the Bundesliga on Friday, with the visitors looking to build on their win against RB Leipzig in midweek as they attempt to escape from the relegation zone.

The home team, meanwhile, are not completely safe yet, but a win against Koln would ensure that they cannot be automatically relegated this season.

Match preview

Augsburg may have considered themselves a little unfortunate to lose 2-0 to Eintracht Frankfurt in midweek, with Heiko Herrlich's side having plenty of chances to spring a surprise against Adi Hutter's high-flying outfit.

Marco Richter and Ruben Vargas both had three shots each across the 90 minutes, but were guilty of profligacy, as had been the case when Augsburg failed to score against Schalke 04 and Arminia Bielefeld in their previous two matches.

Frankfurt, ultimately, were the more ruthless side, with goals either side of half time from Martin Hinteregger and Andre Silva enough to move them up to third place in the table and keep them firmly in the box seat for a Champions League spot next season.

For Augsburg, a seven-point cushion above Hertha Berlin and Koln should already prove enough to see them compete in the Bundesliga for a 11th successive season, although Herrlich will be concerned that Hertha have two games in hand and counting after their recent COVID-19 outbreak.

Tuesday represents the perfect opportunity to at least put the automatic relegation places completely out of reach.

After a winless run of nine matches, Koln looked destined for their sixth relegation since the turn of the century, but they have kept their hopes of survival alive with a shock 2-1 win over Leipzig on Tuesday.

Julian Nagelsmann's side, whose title hopes were all but ended by the defeat, completely dominated the first half, but as has often been the case for them in recent weeks, they failed to find the important breakthrough.

Timo Horn produced the save of the match to deny Alexander Sorloth's powerful header a few minutes before half time.

Jonas Hector nodded home at the back post to open the scoring two minutes after the restart but saw Amadou Haidara cancel out his effort with a drilled shot from the edge of the box.

However, Hector was not to be denied being his side's matchwinner, charging into the box and firing past Peter Gulacsi less than two minutes later to move his side level on points with 16th-placed Hertha, who currently occupy the relegation playoff spot.

By and large, then, Koln's recently-appointed manager Friedhelm Funkel had his captain Hector and vice-captain Horn, who have both been fantastic servants at the club since 2012, to thank for the three points.

The duo's quality and character will almost certainly prove instrumental if Koln are to have any chance of producing a great escape between now and the end of the season, with recording successive wins against Augsburg on Friday potentially required if they are to realistically keep those dreams alive.

Augsburg Bundesliga form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L

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

Team News

Augsburg will be without the suspended Felix Uduokhai after the Germany defender picked up his fifth caution of the season during the defeat to Frankfurt, with Noah Sarenren Bazee and Tim Civeja ruled out through illness and injury respectively.

Herrlich is likely to revert to a back four and bring Vargas back into the starting XI, with Jeffrey Gouweleeuw partnering Reece Oxford or Marek Suchy at the heart of the defence.

The likes of Iago, Raphael Framberger and Andre Hahn could all be recalled, too, having been rested in midweek.

Koln, meanwhile, will also be deprived of a defender due to suspension after Kingsley Ehizibue picked up his fifth booking of the season against Leipzig. Benno Schmitz is his obvious replacement at right-back.

Otherwise, with Sebastian Andersson, Jan Thielmann and Ismail Jakobs all still out through injury, Funkel is likely to select an unchanged XI from the one which performed admirably to defeat the Bundesliga's second-placed club.

Augsburg possible starting lineup:
Gikiewicz; Framberger, Oxford, Gouweleeuw, Iago; Caligiuri, Gruezo, Khedira, Vargas; Richter, Hahn

FC Koln possible starting lineup:
T. Horn; Schmitz, Bornauw, Czichos, J. Horn; Wolf, Skhiri, Rexhbecaj, Hector, Drexler; Duda

We say: Augsburg 1-1 FC Koln

We can envisage a share of the spoils between two evenly-matched sides, which would represent a better result for the hosts than the visitors.

Indeed, Funkel's side surely require wins at this stage of the season, whereas a point for Augsburg would almost certainly prove enough to stave off any lingering fears they may have of being automatically relegated.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 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 1.5:data

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Bundesliga Table
1Bayern MunichBayern32235492405274
2RB Leipzig32197657282964
4Borussia DortmundDortmund321841069442558
5Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt321512563481557
6Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen32149951351651
7Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach321210105952746
8Union BerlinUnion Berlin32111384741646
12Mainz 053299143551-1636
13Hertha Berlin32810144050-1034
15Werder Bremen32710153451-1731
16Arminia Bielefeld3287172351-2831
17FC Koln3278173360-2729
RSchalke 04Schalke3227232182-6113
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Eredivisie Table
2PSV EindhovenPSV32208469323768
3AZ AlkmaarAZ32207570412967
6FC UtrechtUtrecht321312751401151
8Sparta RotterdamSparta32127134747043
10Fortuna SittardSittard32124164653-740
12FC Twente32911124446-238
13PEC Zwolle32811134149-835
14RKC WaalwijkRKC Waalwijk3269173151-2027
15Willem II3267193466-3225
18ADO Den HaagADO Den Haag32410182669-4322
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