At the press conference prior to the first home game since the Bundesliga restart, BVB head coach Lucien Favre fielded questions from the assembled journalists in Dortmund.
"He always trains at full throttle," said a delighted Lucien Favre of his new signing Erling Haaland – who scored a debut hat-trick against FC Augsburg last weekend immediately after coming off the bench – at the press conference prior to the home game against 1. FC Cologne. "If he misses a chance in training, he gets angry. It's brilliant coaching players like this – he brings happiness, that's good for everyone," he said of the 19-year-old Norwegian. The boss was also full of praise for youngster Giovanni Reyna, another player who made his first Bundesliga appearance for the Black & Yellows against Augsburg. "You can see in training he has something about him. He's in the right places, he does the right things. He's doing very well for a 17-year-old. If he keeps playing like that, he'll go places."
Delaney and Zagadou sidelined
Favre will be without two players for the upcoming match on home turf: Thomas Delaney (knee problems) and Dan-Axel Zagadou (torn muscle fibre) will not be available to face the visitors from the Rhineland. There is good news, however: the duo of Marcel Schmelzer and Tobias Raschl returned to team training during the week.
Cologne riding high
In Cologne, BVB will be up against a highly motivated team that have taken three points from each of their last four matches – against Bayer Leverkusen, Eintracht Frankfurt, Werder Bremen and VfL Wolfsburg – and climbed up to 13th position in the Bundesliga table as a result. "Cologne have stabilised very well," said Favre. "They're solid and have introduced a lot of young players; the mixture is working well," continued the 62-year-old as he reflected upon the Billy Goats' strong form. Statistically speaking, however, the signs point towards a BVB victory. The Black & Yellows are unbeaten in 19 home games against Cologne (W15 D4) – their longest such run against any opponent ever.