FC Cologne welcome Fortuna Dusseldorf to the RheinEnergieSTADION on Sunday for what should be an interesting Rhine derby. The visitors currently find themselves down in the relegation battle, so will be looking for three much–needed points. Cologne still have a chance of making the top-six in the Bundesliga so they will be keen to win too. Here, we’ll take a closer look at the game for you, and identify where some of the best betting value can be found.
Markus Gisdol’s Cologne side head into this Rhine derby game on the back of a 2-2 home draw with Mainz. Prior to the suspension of the Bundesliga in March, they had been in good form. In their last game before the break, they lost 2-1 away at Borussia Monchengladbach, but had won their three games before that. They certainly created plenty of chances against Mainz, and will hope to do the same against Dusseldorf. Mark Uth remains a key man. He struck his fifth league goal of the season from the penalty spot against Mainz.
Uwe Rosler’s Dusseldorf team have not been in great form in their recent games, and are facing a fight to avoid finishing third from bottom and having to play off to secure their Bundesliga future. If they are to secure a longer stay in the top flight, they will need to score more goals. Rouwen Hennings will be vital to their chances. The German forward has scored 11 Bundesliga goals so far this season. Unibet have him at odds of 3.10 to score at any time on Sunday. Kaan Ayhan will need to watch his discipline, as he has collected 10 yellow cards so far this season.
Being at home hands a significant advantage to Cologne in this game. The Billy Goats have not lost their last four home games against Dusseldorf. The teams have not played each other particularly often over the last couple of decades, however. The sides last met earlier in the current season, when Fortuna won 2-0 at the Merkur Spiel-Arena. Rouwen Hennings opened the scoring for Die Flingeraner from the penalty spot in the 38th minute, with Erik Thommy adding the second just after the game’s hour mark.
Both teams have changed coaches since then, with Friedhelm Funkel being replaced at Fortuna by Use Rosler, and Achim Beierlorzer has departed from Cologne, to be replaced in the dugout by Markus Gisdol. Sunday’s game could therefore be a very different sort of occasion from the teams’ first clash. Both of these sides drew on the return to Bundesliga action. Cologne’s 2-2 draw with Mainz was an exciting affair, but Fortuna’s 0-0 draw at home to Paderborn was less thrilling. Fortuna really need to score more goals if they want to stay in the Bundesliga this season.
Although they have not played each other very often over the last couple of decades, there have been 10 matches between these two sides since 1995. Out of those games, Cologne have won four and there have been four draws. Dusseldorf have won just twice. Given that both sides drew on the return to action last weekend, a draw might be a good bet for Sunday’s match. Dusseldorf have also drawn five of their last seven matches. Unibet have the odds for the game ending in a draw set at 3.95, which looks pretty tempting to us.
Prior to the current season, the most recent meetings between the sides came in the 2013/14 campaign when the clubs were in Bundesliga 2. The game hosted by Cologne ended in a 1-1 draw. Fortuna lost their home game, with Cologne winning the game 3-2. There have been significant changes at both clubs since those distant days, of course.
Our prediction for this game is that it will Cologne will win a close game 1-0. While both teams drew last time out, Cologne looked much more creative offensively than Fortuna did. One man who could cause the home team problems, though, is Rouwen Hennings. His 11 goals in 25 games this season is testament to the threat he poses. If Cologne keep him quiet, they should be able to win. Our recommended tip for this game comes from Unibet, who are offering odds of 3.80 on the home side winning by a margin of exactly one goal.