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Dortmund logo
Bundesliga | Gameweek 1
Aug 19, 2023 at 5.30pm UK
Koln logo

1 - 0
FC Koln

Malen (88')
Malen (90+1')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Preview: Borussia Dortmund vs. FC Koln - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Borussia Dortmund and FC Koln, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

After narrowly missing out on the title last season, Borussia Dortmund kick off their 2023-24 Bundesliga campaign with a home fixture against FC Koln on Saturday.

While Dortmund finished behind perennial champions Bayern Munich on goal difference, the Billy Goats finished 11th last term - 29 points shy of the runners-up.

Match preview

Marco Reus models the Dortmund 2023-24 home kit© PUMA

Borussia Dortmund started the new season with an easy 6-1 victory over fourth-tier outfit Schott Mainz in the first round of the DFB-Pokal last weekend, racking up 73% possession and 24 shots while limiting the hosts to a solitary attempt on target.

After scoring five goals across the final four Bundesliga games last term, Sebastien Haller bagged a brace against Schott Mainz, with Julian Brandt, Marcel Sabitzer, Donyell Malen and Youssoufa Moukoko completing the scoring.

Now, Dortmund turn their attention to the Bundesliga after surrendering the title to Bayern Munich on the final day of the previous campaign, despite having led the way for much of the 2022-23 season.

The Black and Yellows suffered a solitary defeat in 19 league outings after the World Cup break, picking up 14 wins and four draws in the process, but a 2-2 draw with Mainz on the final day handed the title to Bayern, who scored an 89th-minute winner against FC Koln to clinch an 11th successive top-flight crown.

Edin Terzic's men can take huge confidence from their efforts last season, but many of the players will still be hurting after throwing away the title at the eleventh hour.

FC Koln coach Steffen Baumgart reacts on March 4, 2023© Reuters

FC Koln head into Saturday's clash on the back of an extra-time victory over VfL Osnabruck in the DFB-Pokal, having booked their place in the second round despite the best efforts of the second-tier side.

When Charalambos Makridis cancelled out Benno Schmitz's opener in the 73rd minute, the momentum swung in Osnabruck's favour, but extra-time goals from Sargis Adamyan and Julian Chabot saw the Billy Goats run out 3-1 winners.

It is fair to say that FC Koln experienced an inconsistent 2022-23 campaign, recording 10 wins, 12 draws and 12 losses in the Bundesliga, although Steffen Baumgart's side finished nine points outside the bottom three and 11 points clear of the automatic relegation spots.

On top of that, Koln managed to win just four of their 19 away league outings last term, recording seven draws and six defeats along the way, while Dortmund posted the best home record in the division, losing only one of their 19 league encounters at Signal Iduna Park.

Having enjoyed a promising pre-season - recording three wins, two draws and one loss across six warm-up matches - FC Koln will be determined to improve on last season's 11th-placed finish.

Borussia Dortmund form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

FC Koln form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Borussia Dortmund's Sebastien Haller looks dejected after misses a penalty as Emre Can looks on on May 27, 2023© Reuters

Borussia Dortmund will start the season without the injured quintet of Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, Julien Duranville, Thomas Meunier, Giovanni Reyna and Niklas Sule.

To make matters worse for BVB, there are also question marks over the fitness of Karim Adeyemi, Emre Can, Mateu Morey Bauza and Felix Nmecha ahead of the new campaign.

After scoring twice last weekend, Sebastien Haller will lead the line in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Donyell Malen, Marco Reus and Julian Brandt lining up behind the striker.

FC Koln have several injury absentees of their own, with Noah Katterbach, Jan Thielmann and Steffen Tigges all expected to miss the trip to Signal Iduna Park.

Steffen Baumgart could deploy a 4-1-3-2 formation this weekend, meaning that Davie Selke and Luca Waldschmidt will operate in attack, while Eric Martel will anchor the midfield.

Borussia Dortmund possible starting lineup:
Kobel; Ryerson, Schlotterbeck, Hummels, Bensebaini; Sabitzer, Can; Malen, Reus, Brandt; Haller

FC Koln possible starting lineup:
Schwabe; Schmitz, Hubers, Chabot, Paqarada; Martel; Huseinbasic, Olesen, Kainz; Selke, Waldschmidt

SM words green background

We say: Borussia Dortmund 3-1 FC Koln

Given that Borussia Dortmund suffered a solitary defeat in 19 home league games last season - scoring 55 goals while conceding just 17 - we expect BVB to kick-start their Bundesliga campaign with a comfortable victory over FC Koln.

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

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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Borussia Dortmund midfielder Emre Can on March 6, 2023
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Today's games header
Tables header RHS
CBayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen34286089246590
3Bayern MunichBayern34233894454972
4RB Leipzig34198777393865
5Borussia DortmundDortmund34189768432563
6Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt34111495150147
9Werder Bremen34119144854-642
13Mainz 05Mainz34714133951-1235
14Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach34713145667-1134
15Union BerlinUnion Berlin3496193358-2533
16VfL BochumVfL Bochum34712154274-3233
RFC Koln34512172860-3227
RSV Darmstadt 98Darmstadt3438233086-5617

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