We’re playing a playoff game in Germany tonight and Kev believes it’s the top The team that will take the lead in the first leg.
« Cologne ended the season strong, while Kiel only needed one win in the last two games, and they did it. »
The ice didn’t melt as strong as we had hoped last night, as KR’s 1-1 draw against HK brought us a few goals short.
We will now focus on Germany, because tonight is the first leg Relegation playoffs between Cologne and Holstein Kiel. In German football, the team that finished third from the bottom in the top division competes against the team that finished third in the second division on two legs.
Cologne almost didn’t want this playoff qualified. Four minutes before the end of the regular season there was a goalless draw against Schalke, but the giant defender Sebastian Bornauw scored a header on the far post, which scored a 1-0 victory. Cologne ended a bad season strong as they won three of their last five games, including two of their last three home games. The decision to replace coach Markus Gisdol with veteran Friedhelm Funkel six games before the end of the season has proven to be the right one.
While Cologne ended at a high point, Holstein Kiel suffered abdominal pain in the last two games. Only one win would have ensured automatic promotion, and Ole Werner’s team led in both games against Karlsruher and Darmstadt, but lost both 3-2. Before this game, their away form is a problem, with only one win in the last seven. Kiel also has emotional baggage after losing these playoffs to Wolfsburg in 2018.
Cologne shouldn’t have put itself in this position. They have a decent squad and high profile players like midfielders Ondrej Duda and Jonas Hector. Funkel is a smart coach, and Kiel is affected by the suspension of the midfield duo Jonas Meffert and Alexander Mühling.
I will support the hosts to win the first leg -0.5 & -1.0 on the Asian Handicap at 1.9420 / 21. If they win by one goal we get half a win, while a bigger win close to the end brings us a full win.
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