"We must play an intensive game" against Cologne
Borussia Dortmund will welcome 1. FC Cologne to SIGNAL IDUNA PARK for the top match at 18:30 CET on Saturday evening. The team will be looking to return to winning ways against Cologne after drawing the Ruhr derby a week ago. "We sensed in training that the lads want to do better," said BVB coach Edin Terzic.
BVB remain unbeaten in the Bundesliga this calendar year, having followed up a run of eight successive wins with a frustrating 2-2 draw away to Schalke last weekend. "There was enormous disappointment because we had an opportunity to pick up the next victory. However, we mustn't be overly critical: there is no team that has picked up as many points as we have this year," Terzic said.
He believes his team produced a "really good performance" in the derby, particularly in the opening half. The coach had tweaked not only the line-up but the formation too, and pushed left-back Raphael Guerreiro forward into a midfield role. It is an option that he is keeping in mind for the future. "It was clear to us that he possesses the capability and the talent to find solutions in tight situations. Rapha is not a left-back that always stays glued to the touchline, but one who cuts in-field. He produced a really good performance."
Terzic has not yet revealed whether Guerreiro will line up in midfield against Cologne too. But what is certain is that the coach faces another reshuffle, with Emre Can suspended after accumulating five bookings. He could be replaced in the starting XI by Salih Özcan, who would be going up against his ex-club, or Mo Dahoud. "Salih brings his physicality and running stamina to the position. Mo has different qualities on the ball in tight situations. But that doesn't mean that only one of the two will play. We're keeping our options open," said Terzic coyly.
Reus returns to the squad
As for Gregor Kobel, "we've got the muscle injury under control" – but the goalkeeper has spent the last few days sidelined again with a cold. He will undergo goalkeeper-specific training on Thursday before linking up with the squad again on Friday. Julian Brandt is making progress in rehabilitation following his muscle fibre injury, but has not yet returned to team training. "We think it'll be very close for Saturday," Terzic said. Marco Reus, meanwhile, has returned to team training following his cold and will be back in the squad. BVB could use the captain's scoring and creating abilities against Cologne on Saturday: Reus has faced the Billy Goats on 15 occasions, notching seven goals and five assists.
The men from Cologne are without a win or a goal in four Bundesliga matches and currently sit 12th in the table. "There are always phases like that within a season, but you cannot count on it staying that way," said Terzic, who recalled Cologne's 7-1 thrashing of Bremen in the opening game of the year and the 3-0 victory against Frankfurt a few weeks ago. "We've been warned – not only by the reverse fixture but by the close matches from the past few years as well. Even though they haven't scored so often in their last matches, they're extremely dangerous," said the coach in reference to Cologne's balls in behind and many crosses, which also lead to set-pieces time and time again. The Black & Yellows conceded a goal from a corner-kick in the 3-2 defeat in the reverse fixture at the start of October.
On Saturday, "we must play an intensive game in order to leave the pitch as winners" and return to winning ways following the draw last weekend.
BVB TV by 1&1: The press conference prior to the Cologne game