Bayer Leverkusen will look to make it two wins in two games when they travel to Cologne, to face the struggling FC Koln.
Venue: RheinEnergieStadion (Cologne)
FC Koln have suffered just one home league defeat this term (W3, D2)
The Billy Goats have conceded at least twice in five of their last six Bundesliga matches.
They have kept just one clean sheet in their last 15 competitive games.
Bayer Leverkusen are winless in their last seven away games (D2, L5).
They have conceded 2+ goals in each of their six away games in all competitions.
They have kept a clean sheet in each of their last two games.
Leverkusen have the lowest Bundesliga win rate when starting as favourites at least twice this season (14% – W1, D3, L3).
Head to head
In the last 15 games between both sides, Bayer Leverkusen have enjoyed the greater share of positive results, having won seven of those games while FC Koln have just four wins.
Latest performances in all competitions
FC Koln: L-D-D-W-L
FC Koln will go in search of their first win in three games when they welcome Bayer Leverkusen to the RheinEnergie Stadion.
Die Geißböcke fell to a 2-0 loss to title contenders Freiburg last weekend. Second-half goals from Woo-Yeong Jeong and Michael Gregoritsch ensured that the home side extended their wait for a win in the Bundesliga, since a 3-2 win over Augsburg in Gameweek 10.
The loss to Freiburg was also Cologne’s third straight game in all competitions without a win, having played out a 2-2 draw with OGC Nice in the UEFA Europa Conference League last week, which ultimately ended their participation in the competition.
The hosts are a mile off from the team that achieved a seventh-place finish last season, and after 13 rounds of football, Steffen Baumgart’s side sit in 12th position in the Bundesliga table.
After watching his side get knocked out of the UEFA Europa Conference League in the group stages, coupled with their recent poor results in the domestic competition, the German coach will be anxious to get his team back to winning as they attempt to take back control of their season.
Cologne come into this game five points above their opponents, and with the away side have been on a decline this season, Baumgart will fancy his side’s chances of getting a win over the team who are just one point outside the relegation berths.
Die Geißböcke have been impressive when playing at home this season, with just one defeat coming at the RheinEnergie Stadion, so Steffen Baumgart’s will be counting on the home fans once more when Xabi Alonso and his boys come into town.
Possible Cologne starting line-up
Marvin Schwabe; Benno Schmitz, Luca Kilian, Timo Hübers, Kristian Pedersen; Ellyes Skhiri, Eric Martel; Linton Maina, Ondrej Duda, Florian Kainz; Steffen Tigges.
Injured: Mark Uth, Florian Dietz, Dejan Ljubicic, Tim Lemperle, Sebastian Andersson
After finishing in the top four last season, much was expected of Bayer Leverkusen, but Die Werkself have not lived up to the huge expectations.
The away side endured a poor start to the season with three straight defeats and some string of poor performances, which kept them rooted to the bottom of the Bundesliga table. This resulted in the sacking of Gerardo Seoane, who was replaced by Xabi Alonso.
It is yet to be seen if the gamble on the inexperienced former Liverpool midfielder is going to pay off, but Bayer Leverkusen come into this encounter having picked up seven vital points since the appointment of the young manager, to lift them out of the relegation zone.
Bayer Leverkusen thrashed former league leaders Union Berlin last weekend to record their biggest win margin this season.
Die Werkself produced a scintillating second-half display to stun Union Berlin after they had gone into the break with the score at 0-0. Goals from Robert Andrich, Mitchel Bakker, Adam Hlozek and a brace from Moussa Diaby handed Bayer Leverkusen their third win in the Bundesliga this season.
Xabi Alonso will draw a lot of positives from the win over Union Berlin, having seen his boys score five second-half goals against the best defence in the German topflight. The win was also the perfect reaction to a week where they sealed a Champions League group stage exit following a 0-0 draw with Club Brugge.
The Spanish coach will be hoping for the same sort of performance from his boys when they take on FC Koln, and having failed to beat Steffen Baumgart’s side over two legs last season, Leverkusen know they have to put in their absolute best once more as they look to increase the gap on the relegation places.
Possible Bayer Leverkusen starting line-up
Lukas Hradecky; Edmond Tapsoba, Jonathan Tah, Piero Hincapié; Jeremie Frimpong, Robert Andrich, Exequiel Palacios, Mitchel Bakker; Moussa Diaby, Adam Hlozek, Nadiem Amiri.
Injured: Paulinho, Patrick Schick, Sardar Azmoun, Florian Wirtz
Cologne 2-2 Bayer Leverkusen