Borussia Dortmund take on FC Köln this Sunday evening in the last Bundesliga match of the weekend.
After booking their place in the DFB Pokal final with the mid-week win against Greuther Fürth, Jürgen Klopp’s side must now turn their attention back to the Bundesliga.
They travel to face a struggling Köln side, while Dortmund have carried on where they left off last season—currently sitting atop the Bundesliga and looking likely to retain the title.
Here’s a look ahead to this weekend’s match and the reasons why Borussia Dortmund will claim another three precious Bundesliga points against FC Köln.
In this year’s Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund have scored 53 goals so far, compared to FC Köln’s 33.
Both teams have in-form strikers. Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski and Köln’s Lukas Podolski have both netted 14 times this season.
The recent transfer speculation linking Podolski with Arsenal may well be affecting his performances however, as he has only managed to score one goal in Köln’s last seven games.
Dortmund have a major advantage here.
They currently have three players in the top 20 Bundesliga goal-scorers compared to just one from Köln (Podolski).
This shows that if Podolski is not playing well, Köln will struggle for goals.
However, Dortmund can rely on goals coming from many players, not just Lewandowski, and this gives them a much higher chance of success on Sunday.
Unfortunately for Köln, their home form this season has been very poor. They have won less than half their games in the RheinEnergieStadion.
In contrast, Dortmund have the best away record in the league, having brought home 25 points from their travels this season.
In addition, Köln have shipped 17 goals whilst playing at home.
Dortmund have so far scored the second-highest number of away goals this term, so add this firepower to Köln’s leaky defence and it seems there can only be one outcome to this Sunday's game.
Looking at the recent history of games between these two clubs, Köln are very unlikely to win this Sunday.
They have only won one of their last 10 matches against Dortmund.
Looking further back, Dortmund have also won more of the match-ups between these two sides since the Bundesliga was created, with 31 wins to Köln’s 24.
As we have already seen, Dortmund have the superior firepower this season, and this is also true historically.
They have scored 142 goals against Köln in all past league matches and only conceded 116 in reply.
FC Köln have collected over twice as many yellow cards as Dortmund this season with 54 compared to BVB’s 25.
They are also way ahead in the number of red cards received, having had five players sent off to Dortmund’s one.
As has already been shown, and can be seen just by looking at the Bundesliga table, Dortmund have a distinct advantage on Sunday.
Köln will need to ensure that they keep their cool during the match to avoid giving Dortmund one further advantage in having more players on the pitch.