Preview: Heidenheim vs. FC Koln – prediction, team news, lineups – Sports Mole

Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Bundesliga clash between Heidenheim and FC Koln, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

European hopefuls Heidenheim will finish their 2023-24 Bundesliga campaign with a contest against relegation-threatened FC Koln on Saturday afternoon.

Heidenheim are ninth in the table, three points behind eighth-placed Freiburg, while Koln sit 17th, and they are battling to avoid automatic relegation on the final matchday of the season.

Match preview

© Reuters

Heidenheim won last season’s second tier to secure a spot in the Bundesliga for the first time in their history, and it has been a hugely impressive campaign for the club.

Frank Schmidt‘s side, who drew 1-1 with Freiburg last time out, have won nine, drawn 12 and lost 12 of their 33 league matches this season to collect 39 points, which has left them in ninth position in the table, three points behind eighth-placed Freiburg heading into the final matchday of the campaign.

As it stands, the team in seventh spot in the table will qualify for next season’s Conference League playoffs, but if Bayer Leverkusen win the German Cup, seventh would become a Europa League spot, with the team in eighth then qualifying for the Conference League.

Heidenheim need a number of results to go in their favour in the final matchday to claim eighth, but they can only look after their own task and would put themselves in a spot to potentially play European football next season with a victory on Saturday afternoon.

Schmidt’s team have been solid at home this season, picking up 23 points from 16 matches, and they will be welcoming a Koln outfit that have just one away league victory to their name in 2023-24.

Koln coach Timo Schultz looks on on April 13, 2024© Reuters

Koln have struggled this season, boasting a record of five wins, 12 draws and 16 defeats from 33 matches, which has left them down in 17th spot in the table on 27 points.

Timo Schultz‘s side need to win on Saturday to stand a chance of finishing in 16th, which would see them compete in the relegation playoffs rather than being automatically relegated.

However, they also need 16th-placed Union Berlin to lose to Freiburg, while a swing of four goals will then need to occur on the final matchday of the campaign.

Koln will bring a three-game unbeaten run into this match, including an incredible 3-2 success over Union Berlin last time out, which has kept them in the fight when it comes to the relegation battle.

Schultz’s team actually trailed 2-0 on home soil to Union Berlin, but they then managed to score three times without reply, including a 92nd-minute effort from Damion Downs, to secure all three points.

Heidenheim Bundesliga form:

FC Koln Bundesliga form:

Team News

Heidenheim's Jan-Niklas Beste celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on November 11, 2023© Reuters

Heidenheim will again be without the services of three players on Saturday due to knee injuries, with Marnon Busch, Thomas Keller and Elidon Qenaj unavailable for selection.

However, the home side will be boosted by the return of Tim Kleindienst, who was suspended for the 1-1 draw with Freiburg last time out.

Kleindienst has scored 12 times in the Bundesliga during an excellent campaign, and the 28-year-old is set to lead the Heidenheim line in their final match of the season.

As for Koln, Luca Waldschmidt, Leart Paqarada, Dejan Ljubicic, Davie Selke, Luca Kilian and Florian Dietz will miss this weekend’s match through injury.

Meanwhile, the strugglers will also be without the services of Benno Schmitz, Denis Huseinbasic and Justin Diehl due to suspensions.

There will have to be changes to the side that took to the field for the first whistle against Union Berlin, with Linton Maina, Steffen Tigges and Dominque Heintz set to come into the XI.

Heidenheim possible starting lineup:
Muller; Traore, Mainka, Gimber, Fohrenbach; Schoppner, Theuerkauf; Dinkci, Sessa, Beste; Kleindienst

FC Koln possible starting lineup:
Schwabe; Heintz, Hubers, Chabot, Finkgrafe; Maina, Martel; Alidou, Tigges, Kainz; Adamyan

SM words green background

We say: Heidenheim 2-1 FC Koln

Heidenheim have something to fight for, which is bad news for Koln, and we are finding it difficult to look past a home win here. Koln have drawn eight of their 16 away league games this season, but they could come up short on Saturday afternoon to have their relegation confirmed.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Marc Valldeperez

Soy el administrador de marcahora.xyz y también un redactor deportivo. Apasionado por el deporte y su historia. Fanático de todas las disciplinas, especialmente el fútbol, el boxeo y las MMA. Encargado de escribir previas de muchos deportes, como boxeo, fútbol, NBA, deportes de motor y otros.

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