Erling Haaland is in a rich vein of goalscoring form for Borussia Dortmund, and winless Cologne are without captain Jonas Hector ahead of Saturday’s trip to the Signal Iduna Park (kick-off: 2. 30pm GMT).
Haaland scored for the seventh consecutive match in all competitions on Tuesday as Borussia Dortmund coasted to a 3-0 win over Club Brugge in UEFA Champions League Group F. The 20-year-old grabbed a brace, having struck four times in 33 second-half minutes in the 5-2 drubbing of Hertha Berlin last weekend. He’s now tallied some 17 goals in 13 outings in 2020/21, with 10 coming in the Bundesliga. Only Bayern Munich counterpart Robert Lewandowski has fared better at this juncture (11). Sixteen-year-old Youssoufa Moukoko is also expected to be included in the matchday squad after making history as the Bundesliga’s youngest player in the German capital, although he will likely make another cameo from the bench given Haaland’s form. Jadon Sancho scored one and assisted another against Brugge in a superb individual display, meanwhile. The England international was rested in Berlin on Matchday 8, but has done enough to warrant inclusion in head coach Lucien Favre’s starting line-up for the visit of Cologne.
Second-placed Dortmund’s free-scoring ranks are not the only reason Cologne should be worried. The Billy Goats have made an alarming start to the new campaign, claiming three points from their first eight assignments, and are currently on a barren run of 17 top-flight matches without a win dating back to last season. They’ve scored one more than Dortmund have conceded, whilst shipping 14 at the other end – not helped by the on-going absence of Hector. The recently retired Germany international has not played since Matchday 2 due to whiplash. Sebastian Andersson has suffered a setback with his knee and Anthony Modeste only returned to training this week following back trouble, so Jan Thielmann is used as a makeshift centre-forward. Midfielder Florian Kainz is a long-term absentee. Depending on results elsewhere, defeat in Dortmund could plunge the Cathedral City club to the foot of the table, with four rounds of fixtures to play before the truncated winter break.
Dortmund: Bürki – Meunier, Akanji, Hummels, Passlack – Can, Witsel – Sancho, Reus (c), Brandt – HaalandSubs: Hitz, Morey, Delaney, Dahoud, Hazard, Moukoko, Bellingham, Piszczek, ReynaOut: Guerreiro ( hamstring), Reinier (not included), Schmelzer (knee), Schulz (match fitness), Zagadou (knee) Coach: Lucien Favre
Cologne: T. Horn (c) – Wolf, Bornauw, Czichos, Cestic – Skhiri – Rexhbecaj, Duda, Özcan, Jakobs – ThielmannSubs: Zieler, Schmitz, Katterbach, Arokodare, Limnios, Ehizibue, J. Horn, Drexler, ModesteOut: Andersson (knee), Hector (neck), Kainz (knee), Mere (knock)Coach: Markus Gisdol
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