Simon Breuer in the U21 jersey. (Photo: IMAGO / foto2press)
The emotional state of the U21s at 1. FC Köln has changed completely within a few days: the team has made it out of the bottom of the table and is now only slightly behind last year’s result. The development should be continued on Sunday with the favorite opponent.
Rot-Weiss Ahlen seems to suit the FC talents. The Cologne team clearly won the last three encounters, scoring 16 (!) goals. At least that is the positive aspect of the statistics.
However, there is also the very current shape curve to mention. And it says that the U21s were only able to collect one point in four appearances abroad this season. So what could be more obvious than knocking over the buck at your favorite opponent on Sunday (2 p.m., Wersestadion)?
Away win “would be important for morale”
“We’ve stabilized now,” coach Mark Zimmermann is pleased about the latest development. The sports court ruling on Monday evening in particular brought relief to the team. But the team cannot and must not rest on its recent laurels: “We want to finally show our form on the pitch away from home. That would also be important for the morale of the boys.”
Ahlen is like a lucky bag this season: On the one hand, there was the 8-0 thrashing of Wattenscheid, which was followed only a week later by a 0-5 defeat in Wiedenbrück. “Ahlen is a ripped-off, strong team”, Zimmermann characterizes the upcoming opponent, “but it is still our goal to take something from Ahlen.”
Bumpy start to the season has been corrected
With a three, the U21 would overtake their opponents in the table and increase their lead over the relegation zone. Thanks to the recent threesome, the U21 interim result is much better anyway: With ten points from eight games, the Cologne team are only two points worse than at the same time last season – and that despite what felt like a much bumpier start than last year.
Which professional support there will be in Ahlen on Sunday will only be decided on Saturday after the Bundesliga team’s final training session. What is certain, however, is that Adam Lenges from the U21 squad will miss the game. The midfielder missed the Wuppertal game for a short time due to an infection and will not get fit in time. Teoman Akmestanli is now doing part of the training with the team, but after the long downtime, Ahlen is still far too early. The use of Jeremy Mekoma, who had to cut back on training on Thursday, is questionable.