Werder’s special start to the new year

Köln preview

 Werder players celebrating together
Werder are looking to get their year off to the perfect start against Köln (Foto: WERDER.DE).
preliminary report
Friday, 20.01.2023 / 15:41

The Bundesliga is finally back! For Werder, that means a trip to North Rhine-Westphalia to face FC Köln at the RheinEnergieSTADION (Saturday, 21st January 2023, 18:30 CET). After such a long winter break, head coach Ole Werner is excited for the return of top flight football: “We can expect a great game and a great atmosphere. It’s also a night game which is always something special. The sense of anticipation is even greater than it would normally be after such a long break,” he explained in yesterday’s presser.

The state of the squad: Although there were question marks surrounding the fitness of Amos Pieper in the week, Ole Werner confirmed on Thursday afternoon that he has a full squad to choose from on Saturday. This, however, excludes Felix Agu and Romano Schmid, who have been out for a longer period of time and will be unavailable against Köln. Former Werder man Florian Kainz could feature for the hosts at the weekend, as could Davie Selke, who turns 28 the day before the game.

Ole Werner on Saturday’s opponents: “Köln are certainly a team that have benefitted from the break because they went in to it off the back of a very tight schedule. We can expect to face a typical Köln side. They are intense, they do lots of running and they are direct. We will need to move the ball with lots of tempo.”

An historically even contest

Previous meetings: Werder and Köln have met on 108 previous occasions. Each side has 39 wins to their name and there have been 30 draws. Köln have scored 174 goals and Bremen have scored 172. The last time the two sides met was during the 2020/21 season and both matches ended in 1-1 draws. The last time this fixture ended in a victory was on 27th June 2020, when Werder romped to a crucial 6-1 win on the final day of the season. The three points meant that Werder qualified for the relegation play-off and they managed to maintain their Bundesliga status after overcoming Heidenheim.

Saturday night fever: Saturday evening games suit the Green-Whites. SVW have won their last four “Topspiel” matches in the Bundesliga. Köln, however, also know how to turn on the style under the Saturday night lights and are unbeaten in their last four matches in the evening slot (2 wins). 

Compiled by WERDER.DE and Opta.

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