Check out our analysis, team news, line-ups and see our prediction for this match.
In the last game of the opening weekend, two of the weakest players in the German Bundesliga will meet on Sunday in the RheinEnergieStadion.
FC Cologne only survived thanks to a second leg triumph in the relegation playoff while Hertha Berlin had a particularly bad season at the wrong end of the table themselves.
Prediction for this match
Cologne starts the new campaign with a new manager at the top – Steffen Baumgart was taken over by the 2nd Bundesliga club SC Paderborn.
Previous permanent manager Markus Gisdol was released in April, with Friedhelm Funkel keep the job until the end of the season to save the club from relegation.
Baumgart will have the task of stabilizing a club that has jumped between the first two leagues and has been floating around the relegation places of the Bundesliga for several years, although he can only dream of the miracle of the 2016/17 season when Cologne unexpectedly finished fifth.
After three wins in the last six games under interim manager Funkel and a 5-2 overall win over Holstein Kiel in the relegation playoff, the hosts have prepared promisingly for the start.
Six friendlies last season were played and a completely unbeaten schedule with four wins, including a 3-2 win over Bayern Munich, gives them plenty of hope.
Last weekend, Cologne also made it into the first round of the DFB Cup, although a penalty shoot-out was necessary after a 1-1 draw against the amateur club FC Carl Zeiss Jena despite a strong line-up.
In terms of transfers, the home side probably started with a stronger squad than the one that starts on Sunday.
Young stars Ismail Jacob and Sebastian Bornauw left at decent transfer fees, with earnings previously limited to free transfers only. However, the capture is forward Mark Uth will be an uplift after a successful passing time at the club in 2019-20.
Hertha Berlin manager Buddy Dardai executes his team in his first full season as club manager.
After failing to stop the rut in his first games after his appointment in January, Dardai managed to put together a better spell towards the end of the campaign.
A single defeat for Hertha in the last nine games last season is a platform to build on after an extremely disappointing full year for a team that has invested heavily in recent years.
Berlin’s net transfer spending is currently positive this summer, despite the arrival of four impressive signings in the form of Suat Serdar, Marco Richter, Stevan Jovetic and Kevin-Prince Boatengreturning to his youth club for a second time.
The preparations over the summer have certainly given the fans hope for the coming season, after six unbeaten games in the preseason. Among the three wins was an entertaining 4-3 away win in Liverpool, with new signings Jovetic and Serdar among the scorers.
The first round of the DFB Cup followed last weekend and Hertha beat third division club SV Meppen with a winner in stoppage time Davie Selke in the 1-0 victory.
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Cologne will kick off on Sunday with almost a full squad to choose from, with the exception of a hip injury for Jannes Horn exclude the defender.
This means debuts are to be expected for the new signings – in particular, Uth is expected to make another debut for the club in the forward line while Timo Hubers is expected to start after his arrival from Hannover 96.
Hertha’s talisman from last season Matheus Cunha comes back to the club fresh from a gold medal win at the Summer Olympics this summer with Brazil. Given his busy schedule, he is expected not to be fit enough to start, which is a blow to the away team.
Veteran goalkeeper Rune Almenning Jarstein is the only other concern and is expected to be completely absent due to a lack of fitness.
Debuts are expected for star signings Serdar and Jovetic, while Boateng expects another midfield debut on his return to the club.
FC Köln possible starting line-up:
Mandrel; Ehizibue, Hubers, Czichos, Schmitz; Ozcan; Thielmann, Hector, Kainz; Duda, Uth
Hertha Berlin possible starting line-up:
Schwolow; Pekarik, Stark, M. Dardai, Plattenhardt; Boateng, Ascacibar, Serdar; Lukebakio, Jovetic; Selke
Probability: FC Köln 1-1 Hertha Berlin
Despite increased expectations on the shoulders of the guests, a close relationship can be expected between two teams that were similarly positioned last season. We’re saying a 1-1 draw at the end of the opening weekend of the new Bundesliga season as both teams are trying to get going.
Best betting tip for this match
Our expert tipster partners at footpredictions.com predict over 1.5 goals in this game. Click here to see more football predictions to see what else they are predicting for this game and for more proven soccer tips.Over 1.5: data