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FC Koln VS Werder Bremen, envisage Bremen winning two games
Match Time：3/7/2021 22:30 Sunday (GMT+8)
German Bundesliga -- FC Koln VS Werder Bremen
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FC Koln take on Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga on Sunday, with the hosts desperately looking to end a run of three consecutive defeats and move away from the relegation zone.
Bremen, meanwhile, earned a surprising 2-1 win against high-flying Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend to move eight points clear of the bottom three.
After taking nine points from a possible 12, Koln have hit a bit of a wall in recent weeks to slip back towards the bottom three, with only a three-point buffer keeping them out of it.
However, Markus Gisdol would never have expected to gain a positive result at Bayern Munich last weekend, with his side falling to a 5-1 defeat, which in truth flattered the Bavarians a little after a couple of late goals from Serge Gnabry.
Eric Choupo-Moting and Robert Lewandowski gave the reigning champions a comfortable two-goal lead heading into the half-time interval, but Ellyes Skhiri looked to have given Koln a chance when pouncing on a defensive mix-up between Jerome Boateng and David Alaba to stab the ball past a visibly enraged Manuel Neuer.
However, once Hansi Flick introduced Thomas Muller and Gnabry to the proceedings, the game was once again taken away from the visitors.
They will feel much more confident of gaining a massive three points on Sunday against a Bremen side they spent much of last season fighting against relegation with.
While Florian Kohfeldt will not be counting his chickens just yet, the look on the 38-year-old's face when the full-time whistle blew spoke volumes about the significance of his side's 2-1 win against Frankfurt last Friday.
Having finished 16th last season, and subsequently only surviving relegation by beating Heidenheim in a play-off, this campaign was always about avoiding being embroiled in another relegation battle towards the end of the season for Bremen, which looks tantalisingly close to being accomplished.
Die Werderaner showed terrific spirit to bounce back from Andre Silva's early opener for Adi Hutter's side, too, with Theodor Gebre Selassie and Joshua Sargent both striking after the break to inflict a huge upset on the Champions League qualification hopefuls.
Bremen are still in the DFB-Pokal, too, after their scheduled quarter-final tie against Jahn Regensburg in midweek was postponed due to COVID-19.
With second-tier side Holstein Kiel through to the semi-final, Bremen will be hoping to avoid Borussia Dortmund or RB Leipzig should they progress past their own second-tier opponents once the game is played, although that should not be taken for granted given that Jahn knocked out their forthcoming league opponents in the previous round.
FC Koln Bundesliga form: LWWLLL
FC Koln form (all competitions): WLWLLL
Werder Bremen Bundesliga form: LWDDLW
Werder Bremen form (all competitions): WDWDLW
Koln will be without Rafael Czichos after the defender picked up his fifth caution of the season in the defeat to Bayern.
Jonas Hector, Sebastian Bornauw, Sebastian Andersson and Florian Kainz are likely to miss out through injury.
Bremen, meanwhile, will travel to Cologne without Luca Plogmann and Patrick Erras due to injury. Otherwise, though, Kohfeldt has a clean bill of health to choose from, and is likely to trust the same XI which performed admirably against Frankfurt.
FC Koln possible starting lineup:
T. Horn; Cestic, Mere, J. Horn; Wolf, Ozcan, Skhiri, Rexhbecaj, Jakobs; Duda, Dennis
Werder Bremen possible starting lineup:
Pavlenka; Veljkovic, Toprak, Friedl; Gebre Selassie, Eggestein, Mohwald, Agu; Sargent, Schmid; Rashica
FC Koln 1-2 Werder Bremen
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