Dortmund Begins Life After Aubameyang at Koln in Bundesliga Clash

Dortmund has endured a poor run of form, but the transfer saga hanging over the club's head is over.
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Borussia Dortmund will look to end their poor run of form on Friday as Peter Stöger returns to the RheinEnergieStadion for the first time since leaving his position as FC Köln's manager in December.

The Black and Yellows have only managed three consecutive draws in the Rückrunde so far, with Nils Petersen's incredible brace preventing Dortmund from claiming all three points against Freiburg last week.

Here's everything you need to know about the game on Friday.

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Classic Encounter

Borussia Dortmund haven't claimed thee points on the road against Köln since 2012, with their last success at the RheinEnergieStadion coming months before they lifted the Bundesliga title.

Key Battle

Milivoje Novakovic gave the hosts a shock lead against Dortmund, with a Lukasz Piszczek getting BVB back on level terms going into the break.

Just two minutes after half-time, Shinji Kagawa completed the turnaround and Robert Lewandowski gave the visitors some breathing space minutes later.

Ilkay Gündogan then got his name on the scoresheet before Kagawa notched his second of the game, with Ivan Perisic putting the icing on the cake for Jürgen Klopp's Dortmund to secure an impressive 6-1 victory.

Simon Terodde vs Sokratis Papastathopoulos

Friday's hosts managed to secure just one win during the Hinrunde and looked destined for relegation. However, with seven points out of a possible nine in 2018, Stefan Ruthenbeck's Köln are on an outstanding run of form.

The January signing of Simon Terodde from Stuttgart has breathed new life into Köln and the Billy Goats now look set to pull off mission impossible this season by avoiding the drop.

He already has three goals during the Rückrunde, overtaking the tally he reached at the Mercedes-Benz Arena during the first half of the season.

Sokratis will be the man tasked with bullying Terodde out of the game on Friday and the Greek centre-back will be hoping to claim victory, with three points and a clean sheet having eluded Dortmund since December.

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Team News

Although the absence of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - who scored 141 goals in 213 games for Dortmund - will be difficult to come to terms with, the arrival of Michy Batshuayi could help the club kick-start their push for Champions League qualification.

Club captain Marcel Schmelzer is nearing his return to the Dortmund first-team, but Erik Durm and Raphaël Guerreiro remain sidelined. 

Sebastian Rode, Maximilian Philipp and Marco Reus are also still missing, with Andriy Yarmolenko the latest player to join a long injury list.

Köln have a number of injury problems to manage themselves, with the likes of Marco Höger (who has just returned to training), Leonardo Bittencourt and Jhon Córdoba expected to miss the game on Friday.

Potential FC Köln Starting Lineup: Horn, Sørensen, Meré, Heintz, Hector, Koziello, Özcan, Clemens, Joijic, Osako, Terodde.

Potential Borussia Dortmund Starting Lineup: Bürki, Piszczek, Sokratis, Toprak, Toljan, Weigl, Pulisic, Kagawa, Götze, Sancho, Batshuayi.

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Although Köln are on a fantastic run of form in comparison to Borussia Dortmund, Stöger's side should still be favorites coming into the game.

However, Dortmund will be stepping out onto the pitch knowing they have claimed just one point in their last three trips to the RheinEnergieStadion, with only three players remaining at the club since they last claimed victory at Koln during the 2011/12 season.

Prediction: FC Köln 1-3 Borussia Dortmund