Southampton vs FC Koln: Preview and Predictions

ALTACH, AUSTRIA - JULY 14: Che Adams of Southampton (R) in action with Philipp Netzer of Altach during the friendly match between SCR Altach and FC Southampton at Cashpoint Arena on July 14, 2019 in Altach, Austria. (Photo by Daniel Kopatsch/Getty Images)
ALTACH, AUSTRIA - JULY 14: Che Adams of Southampton (R) in action with Philipp Netzer of Altach during the friendly match between SCR Altach and FC Southampton at Cashpoint Arena on July 14, 2019 in Altach, Austria. (Photo by Daniel Kopatsch/Getty Images) /
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Saturday, Southampton will take on German side FC Koln in the final pre-season friendly before the Premier League officially returns next weekend.

Football returns to St. Mary’s tomorrow and everyone is itching for the new season to begin. Many questions still loom over the club. Will another player be purchased? Will we offload any of the players we want to sell?

What formation will Hasenhuttl use this season? All of these questions are pressing on the minds of the supporters but they will all be put on the back burner when that ball kicks off tomorrow on the South Coast.

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – JULY 28: Che Adams (R) of Southampton celebrates scoring his teams first goal of the game with team mates during the pre season friendly match between Feyenoord Rotterdam and Southampton Football Club at Stadion Feijenoord or De Kuip on July 28, 2019 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – JULY 28: Che Adams (R) of Southampton celebrates scoring his teams first goal of the game with team mates during the pre season friendly match between Feyenoord Rotterdam and Southampton Football Club at Stadion Feijenoord or De Kuip on July 28, 2019 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images) /

The Saints will take on recently promoted FC Koln. Koln are a historic German club and are not looking to be a yo-yo team bouncing back-and-forth between the German leagues. They have a big season ahead of themselves and will come out looking to show what they’ve got against the Saints squad as their season is about to begin as well.

Now let us take a look at why each team will win.

Why Southampton Will Win

This is it, the last test before we kick off the Premier League and prove we aren’t the bottom of the table team we have been over the past two seasons. The club has looked great offensively through the pre-season but still somewhat shaky in the back and facing a legitimate squad in Koln will be a real test of how strong the club is in the back.

It will depend largely on the formation Hasenhuttl chooses to go with on Saturday but I suspect whatever he decides to do will be a pretty good idea of how we will line-up against Burnley next Saturday.

Saturday will also be the last chance for a few players to force their way into the match day squad so we could see some inspired performance on Saturday, even if it is just a friendly. I could see this match ending 2-1 or 3-2 with Southampton coming out on top and finishing the pre-season unbeaten.

Why FC Koln Will Win

Koln won the Bundesliga 2 last season after being relegated the season prior. They have brought in a number of players to ensure they stay in the top flight of German football and will see this match against Saints as a real test of where they stand going into the season.

This will be their 7th pre-season friendly which include a 16-0 absolute beat down of Bad Durrheim and 0-1 loss to Werder Breman. The 3-time German champs are a bit of a question mark coming into the season but ultimately they will provide a good test for Southampton and their offense could take advantage of a shaky backline from Saints.

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Predicted Southampton Line-up: 4-2-2-2

Goalkeeper: Angus Gunn

Defenders: Yan Valery, Jannik Vestergaard, Jan Bednarek, Ryan Bertrand

Midfielders: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, James Ward-Prowse

Attacking Midfielders: Nathan Redmond, Josh Sims

Strikers: Che Adams, Danny Ings

Predicted Score:

Southampton 3-2 FC Koln