Holstein Kiel vs. Koln – Bundesliga Relegation Playoff Second Leg (May 29, 2021)
Koln travels north to Kiel on Saturday, knowing that it must win to stand any chance of remaining in the Bundesliga for next season. A 1-0 victory would send the tie to extra time, but any result other than a win would see Holstein Kiel take its place in the German top flight.
Bundesliga sides usually come out on top at the end of season relegation playoffs. But Holstein Kiel became the first second-tier club to win a single leg for nine years on Wednesday – and will now be confident of finishing the job off at the weekend.
LatestHolstein Kiel vs. Koln Betting Odds
MyBookie obviously believes that Koln will come back and win the second leg and restore order after the shock result in the first leg. But making the Billy Goats the odds on favorite seems a little risky to me.
I can easily see the home side being promoted here – and that means that the draw or the home win odds offer better value.
Holstein Kiel vs. Koln Preview
With the best defense in Bundesliga 2, it was not a complete surprise that Holstein Kiel was able to keep a clean sheet in the first leg in Koln. But I was not expecting it to come away with a win and an away goal.
Simon Lorenz scored the only goal of the first leg just seconds after coming on as a second-half substitute but is unlikely to start on Saturday. Head coach Ole Werner can welcome back his first-choice central midfield pairing of Jonas Meffert and Alexander Muhling after suspension, so the stingy Kiel defense may get even more protection on Saturday.
Koln will be going all out to score now, though – and may well have striker Sebastian Andersson available after recovering from a late-season knee injury. There will be a concern that midfielder Elvis Rexbecaj may have to sit this out, though. He is the top goal scorer for Koln this season but will need to shake off a knock picked up in the first leg to play here.
Temporary manager Friedhelm Funkel will be counting on captain Jonas Hector to lead his players to glory once again. The former Germany international almost forced a Koln goal on Wednesday and is likely to be involved in most of the positive play from the Bundesliga side at the weekend too.
Prediction and Betting Pick
Nothing less than a victory will do now for Koln, as it attempts to keep its top-flight status alive. The Billy Goats have become something of a yoyo club in recent years and now have to break down a well-marshaled defense to remain in the Bundesliga. But Holstein Kier knows that it only needs to draw to win promotion – and this is a team that knows how to keep a clean sheet.
This looks like being a low-scoring stalemate to me.