RB Leipzig head to mid-table Koln on Monday night as they look to consolidate their position in the Bundesliga's top-four. Mark O'Haire analyses the encounter.
"Koln have scored in all bar one of their last 18 outings and crossed the Over 2.5 Goals barrier in 12 of their past 13"
Koln v RB Leipzig
Monday June 1, 19:30
BT Sport and Betfair Live Video
Chaotic Koln suffer in midweek
Koln fell to their first defeat since the enforced COVID-19 break during a chaotic contest with Hoffenheim on Wednesday. The Billy Goats were beaten 3-2 in Sinsheim with the clash featuring red cards for both sides, three interventions from VAR and a missed penalty from forward Mark Uth. Florian Kainz grabbed the consolation goal for Markus Gisdol's men.
Koln haven't been shy of entertainment since the resumption. The disappointing Hoffenheim defeat arrived hot on the heels of two riveting 2-2 draws against struggling pair Fortuna Dusseldorf and Mainz. Against the latter, the Billy Goats chucked away a two-goal advantage, whilst Koln came from two goals down late on to share the spoils with the former.
Stalwart club skipper Jonas Hector should return to the starting XI after being rested in midweek with Jorge Mere stepping into the shoes of suspended centre-half Sebastiaan Bornauw at the RheinEnergieSTADION on Monday night. Dominick Drexler provided three assists off the bench in Koln's first two fixtures in May but may start in reserve again.
Laboured RB Leipzig drop points
RB Leipzig's faint hopes of a Bundesliga title charge were all but extinguished in midweek as Die Rotten Bullen were held to a 2-2 draw at home to in-form Hertha Berlin. Julian Nagelsmann's men failed to follow up their excellent efforts when dispatching Mainz 5-0 four days earlier as they were held to a divisional-high 10th draw of the campaign.
Leipzig came from behind to take a 2-1 lead through Lukus Klostermann's header and Patrik Schick's attempt that bizarrely fumbled into his own goal by Hertha keeper Rune Jarstein. In between the two goals, Marcel Halstenberg had been dismissed and RB were then undone when Ademola Lookman's rash challenge gave the visitors a lifeline from the penalty spot.
Nagelsmann was frustrated post-match, criticising his team's defending and changes are therefore expected for Monday's match. Kevin Kampl could return after pulling out late on against Hertha with Konrad Laimer reusming a right-back role and Angelinho potentially being recalled on the opposite flank. Yussef Poulsen remains absent in attack.
Bulls heavy favourites to succeed
RB Leipzig ran out comfortable 4-1 victors when the two teams met in the reverse contest back in November as Swedish international Emil Forsberg scored twice. The two teams have locked horns five times across the past four years in the Bundesliga with the Red Bull-backed clubs enjoying a W3-D1-L1 superiority in that time, including W1-D1-L0 in Koln.
Koln 5.805/1 have enjoyed remarkable resurgence since mid-December to sit cushy in mid-table. The Billy Goats lost 10 of their opening 14 Bundesliga games before finding their feet under Markus Gisdol's watch; Effzeh have since W8-D2-L4 although the hosts have often come unstuck against the leading lights, returning W1-D0-L7 against the top-five.
RB Leipzig 1.608/13 have been the league's ultimate flat-track bullies this term. Die Rotten Bullen have posted 12 wins from 14 against bottom-half teams, racking up an average of 3.20 goals with 10 of those 12 triumphs arriving by a margin of at least two goals. Indeed, Leipzig have W7-D0-L1 at clubs in 9th and below, scoring three times or more in each victory.
All five previous showdowns between Koln and RB Leipzig have paid out for Both Teams To Score (1.44) backers with four also rewarding Over 2.5 Goals (1.40) backers. There's little reason not to expect another goal-glut when the pair lock horns in in North Rhine-Westphalia on Monday evening.
Koln have scored in all bar one of their last 18 outings and crossed the Over 2.5 Goals barrier in 12 of their past 13. The hosts have seen three or more goals land in 10 of 14 RheinEnergieSTADION contests with half of those clashes also featuring Over 3.5 Goals winners. The Billy Goats' six matches here in 2020 have averaged 3.67 Expected Goals (xG).
Seven of Leipzig's eight trips to teams outside of the top-six have paid out in the Over 2.5 Goals market and with all 15 of their wins in 2019/20 arriving alongside Over 2.5 Goals, I'm happy to combine the two selections again at the offered even-money price on Betfair Sportsbook's Same Game Multi.
Mark's 2019/20 Profit/Loss
Staked: 132.00 pts
Returned: 149.99 pts
P/L: +17.99 pts