Kev extended his winning run in Spain last night, and now he's dropping in on a fascinating clash in Germany.
"Koln have taken ten points from their last four games, while Dortmund haven't won a game since the turn of the year."
FC Koln v Borussia Dortmund
Friday February 02, 19:30
Live on BT Sport 2 and Betfair Live Video
Never underestimate the value of a good coach. Marcelino has worked wonders with Valencia this term, and their 1-0 defeat at Barcelona last night keeps them in their Copa del Rey semi-final, and gave us a comfortable winner on the Asian Handicap.
We're swapping Catalonia for Cologne, and the cathedral city is gearing up for the height of Karneval season. I'll be there next week in a Willy Wonka costume (I'm not joking), but this visit is strictly business. Resurgent FC Koln are welcoming an old friend back to the RheinEnergieStadion, and they hope to get the better of him.
Austrian coach Peter Stoger sparked a golden era in Koln's history. He led them into the Bundesliga, delivered European football for the first time in a quarter of a century, and led the Billy Goats to an extraordinary fifth-place finish last term.
That success made this season's collapse all the more difficult. Koln picked up a series of injuries, lost star striker Anthony Modeste to China, and made some bad moves in the transfer market. First, sporting director Jorg Schmadtke was given the heave-ho, and then when Stoger wasn't backed 100% by the board, he decided to walk.
Stoger's departure has brought about a revival under his replacement Stefan Ruthenbeck, with ten points collected from the last four matches. The impossible dream of survival now doesn't quite look so impossible, and a win tonight would drag FC level with second-bottom Hamburg, and leave them just a point shy of Werder Bremen.
New signing Simon Terodde has led the charge with three goals in three games, attacking midfielder Milos Jojic finally looks interested, and the team in general is sharper, fitter and more solid.
Stoger is now in charge of Borussia Dortmund, and after starting the year with three straight draws, alarm bells are ringing. Top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has defected to Arsenal, and his replacement Michy Batshuayi has a lot of pressure on his young shoulders. His loan move from Chelsea has to work if BVB are to secure Champions League football for next season.
Dortmund have won just one of their last six Bundesliga away games, and I see little reason to back them here at [1.96]. Koln are the team with the momentum, they'll get unbelievable support, and they know Stoger's tactics inside-out.
Points Staked: 17
Points Returned: 18.93
P/L: +1.93 points
Lay Borussia Dortmund at [1.88]