For their first away game of the 2021 calendar year, the Black & Yellow U23s will be heading to the Rhineland to take on their 1. FC Cologne counterparts. Coach Enrico Maaßen's charges will be up against the seventh-placed team in the table and the fourth-best reserve side in the division.

The Borussia Dortmund reserves kicked off 2021 on a winning note by deservedly beating Alemannia Aachen 2-1 (1-1). Both goals for the Black & Yellows were scored by Ansgar Knauff, who was very satisfied after the match: "We gave it everything we had to bring home the three points." A combination of this oft-cited commitment and some top-class football will need to be on show against Cologne on Saturday. Even though BVB have tended to come out on top in their recent battles, coach Mark Zimmermann and his team must not be underestimated. It will be the first game of the year for the Rhinelanders, who amassed 31 points from 19 games before the break.

There are several players who chip in with goals for the Billy Goats. The top scorers are centre-forwards Florian Dietz and the evergreen former BVB man Lukas Nottbeck, who have each netted four times. Among the standout performers is 18-year-old Tim Lemperle. The wide forward has been handed a professional contract and has already been included in the Bundesliga squad once, though he is still waiting for his debut in the top flight. He has notched three goals and two assists in 14 Regionalliga matches. 

Kick-off at the Franz-Kremer-Stadion is at 14:00 CET on Saturday. 
Timo Lammert