Head coach Bruno Labbadia is approaching the task at hand fully focused: “My job is to lead the way. On the one hand we have to talk openly about things that weren’t good. On the other hand, my coaching team and I have to help the players up again after setbacks. We will keep our heads up as a team because we believe in what we’re doing.” Indeed, all that is missing is for the side to return to winning ways. “And nobody can help us with that apart from ourselves,” Labbadia said.
Borna Sosa was forced to sit out two days of training with a cold, but was due to return on Thursday, while Nikolas Nartey was also back with his teammates. There was further good news, as Tiago Tomas is making good progress following his abdominal injury, while Labbadia confirmed that Fabian Bredlow will be in goal again on Saturday: “We made the decision based on what we saw in training this week. Fabian has earned it.”
This weekend VfB will face a Köln side still unbeaten in 2023, and the Billy Goats come into the game on the back of a 3-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt last Sunday. “Köln are all about being a unit,” Labbadia said. “Just like any team, they also have their weaknesses, but they compensate for that through the amount of ground they cover.” Köln have collectively run a total of 2,376 kilometres this season – more than any other Bundesliga team.