FC Köln vs RB Leipzig Preview: How to Watch on TV, Live Stream, Kickoff Time & Team News

David Ford
RB Leipzig v Hertha BSC - Bundesliga
RB Leipzig v Hertha BSC - Bundesliga / Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
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A 2-2 draw against Hertha Berlin has all but finished RB Leipzig's tilt at the Bundesliga title, with Bayern now nine points ahead of them at the top of the table, but that shouldn't stop the east German side from trying to continue their excellent run form in the league.

Despite their title hopes fading, RB Leipzig have only lost three games this season, with their current unbeaten run stretching back nine matches. Their last match was that disappointing 2-2 draw, where they valiantly defended their lead with 10 men, only for a late Krzysztof Piątek penalty to rob them of two points.

Köln are still waiting for their first win since the restart, after suffering a 3-1 loss against a Christoph Baumgartner-inspired Hoffenheim. They were played out of the game after losing their centre-back Sebastiaan Bornauw in the 26th minute, but can be proud of their fightback after Hoffenheim were reduced to 10 men after the 50th minute, with the damage already done.

Fine margins lost Köln the game against Hoffenheim
Fine margins lost Köln the game against Hoffenheim / Pool/Getty Images

Where To Watch

When Is Kick Off? Monday 1 June
What Time Is Kick Off? 19:30 (BST)
Where Is it Played? Rhein Energie Stadion
TV Channel/Live Stream? BT Sport (UK), fuboTV (US).
Referee? TBC


Team News

Köln have a problem at centre-back, with both first choices unavailable. Rafael Czichos remains injured, as he has done since February, and Sebastiaan Bornauw's sending off against Hoffenheim rules him out against a free-scoring Leipzig side.

Captain Jonas Hector was surprisingly dropped against Hoffenheim, but should come back into the team to help shield a back two likely to be made up of Toni Leistner and Jorge Mere, who have barely played together.

Orban set to return to the defence
Orban set to return to the defence / TF-Images/Getty Images

RB Leipzig also remain without centre-backs Ethan Ampadu and Ibrahima Konate, but have been bolstered by the return of Dayot Upamecano in recent games. Marcel Halstenberg was another player sent off in midweek, and he is expected to be replaced by Willi Orban. Expect Angeliño to return for Dani Olmo so Christopher Nkunku can be deployed further forward again.

Yussuf Poulsen is still out after suffering a ligament injury on Sunday and, despite returning to the bench, Emil Forsberg isn't likely to return to the starting XI yet. Timo Werner bagged a hat-trick in his last away outing, his only goals in his last six games, and he'll be hoping for a repeat performance.


Predicted Lineups

Köln: Horn; Ehizibue, Mere, Leistner, Schmitz; Skhiri, Hector, Drexler, Uth, Jakobs; Cordoba.

RB Leipzig: Gulacsi; Klosterman, Upamecano, Orban; Adams, Sabitzer, Laimer, Angeliño; Nkunku, Werner, Schick.


Head to Head Record

Köln v Leipzig
Köln v Leipzig / AFP Contributor/Getty Images

A fairly new fixture in German football, Köln have only played RB Leipzig on five occasions, with the Red Bull-backed side winning three of them, including a 4-1 victory in the reverse fixture back in November. Köln's only win was a 2-1 victory last season, and their first meeting ended in a 1-1 draw back in 2016.

The fact that Leipzig hold an 11-6 goal difference across five meetings demonstrates the gulf in class between the sides, but Köln may be catching their opponents at a good time.


Recent Form

Köln are a prime example of a club who have been hit hard by the suspension of the Bundesliga. They won four of the six games played before the break, only losing to high flying Monchengladbach and Bayern Munich, winning the other four. They are yet to win following the restart though, with two 2-2 draws and the 3-1 loss to Hoffenheim.

That run of form before the break should be enough to ensure survival at the very least, but there is a feeling that should Köln grab a win, they could end the season strongly. They haven't failed to score a goal in a competitive fixture since a 2-0 defeat away to Union Berlin on 8 December.

RB Leipzig's title fell over the barrier against Hertha BSC
RB Leipzig's title fell over the barrier against Hertha BSC / Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

RB Leipzig, however, will probably be glad of an away game. Their last time on the road ended in 5-0 rout of Mainz, a result sandwiched between uninspiring home performances against Freiburg and Hertha BSC.

They are still unbeaten in the Bundesliga since 26 October, and will want to end the season strongly with Monchengladbach and Leverkusen breathing down their necks, just two points behind them now. RB Leipzig may be done in the title race, but consolidating their Champions League place must be a priority for Julian Nagelsmann now.

Away form may be the new advantage, as only five fixtures out of 27 since the restart have ended in a home win, a percentage of just 18.5%.

Here's both teams' last five outings.

Köln

Hoffenheim 3-1 Köln (27/5)
Köln 2-2 Dusseldorf (24/5)
Köln 2-2 Mainz (17/5)
Gladbach 2-1 Köln (11/3)
Paderborn 1-2 Köln (6/3)

Leaping into the lead
Leaping into the lead / Pool/Getty Images

RB Leipzig

RB Leipzig 2-2 Hertha BSC (27/5)
Mainz 0-5 RB Leipzig (24/5)
RB Leipzig 1-1 Freiburg (16/5)
RB Leipzig 3-0 Tottenham (10/3)
Wolfsburg 0-0 RB Leipzig (7/3)


Prediction

Whilst neither side is in quite the electric form they were showing before the break, RB Leipzig should be able to show their quality if they manage to get their attacking players on the ball at the Rhein Energie Stadion.

Nkunku and Werner are tearing up the Bundesliga
Nkunku and Werner are tearing up the Bundesliga / Visionhaus/Getty Images

The added pressure of Köln having a makeshift centre-back pairing, together with Nkunku returning to the forward line, should be too much for the hosts to handle. Whilst there should be little chance of an upset, Köln may be able to force a score draw if they start well and keep their performance high.

Prediction: Köln 1-3 RB Leipzig

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