fficial Fantasy Bundesliga Managers take note: bundesliga.com is on hand to provide likely line-ups as well as injury and suspension news ahead of Matchday 16.
A quintet of first-teamers, Timo Horn, Dominic Maroh, Leonardo Bittencourt, Matthias Lehmann and Marcel Risse, are all still injured for 1. FC Köln, meaning Peter Stöger has been forced to improvise in recent weeks. The Austrian tactician will have to shuffle his pack again when Bayer 04 Leverkusen come calling in the Rhine derby this Wednesday: Marco Höger is banned after picking up a fifth yellow card of the season in the 1-1 draw at SV Werder Bremen last time out. His likely replacement in central midfield is Salih Özcan, who sat out the Bremen draw through suspension but is available again for the final game of the year.
Leverkusen will also be without several key players for the short trip to Cologne: Benjamin Henrichs and Stefan Kießling missed Matchday 15’s 2-1 home defeat to FC Ingolstadt 04 with muscular problems and are both unlikely to feature at the RheinEnergieSTADION. Chilean midfielder Charles Aranguiz was sent off in that loss, meaning he is banned for this one. Jonathan Tah and Julian Baumgartlinger are out with a stomach bug. Julian Brandt, who set up Admir Mehmedi’s goal in the defeat, is likely to replace Aranguiz, with Kevin Kampl dropping into holding midfield alongside Vladen Yurchenko who steps in for Baumgartlinger. Ömer Toprak could start in place of Tah.
Köln possible line-up: Kessler – Sörensen, Mavraj, Heintz – Özcan, Hector – Olkowski, Rausch – Osako – Modeste, Rudnevs
Absentees: Horn (knee), Maroh (collarbone), Bittencourt, Lehmann (both ankle), Risse (cruciate ligament), Höger (suspended)
Coach: Peter Stöger
Leverkusen possible line-up: Leno – Jedvaj, Toprak, Dragovic, Wendell – Yurchanko, Kampl – Calhanoglu, Brandt – Mehmedi – Chicharito
Absentees: Henrichs (thigh), Bellarabi (recovery training), Bender (heel), Volland (thigh), Kießling (muscular problems), Aranguiz (suspended), Tah, Baumgartlinger (both flu)
Coach: Roger Schmidt
1. FC Köln play host to Bayer 04 Leverkusen at the RheinEnergieSTADION, with the game kicking off at 20:00CET/19:00GMT on 21December.