Schalke have little to play for, making them a dangerous proposition. Eintracht Frankfurt learned that the hard way last week, losing 4-3 away to Die Königsblauen.
Schalke are at the bottom of the table, having accumulated an embarrassing sum of 16 points from 33 league outings.
FC Koln are just above Schalke in 17th . They have 30 points from 33 games, with fellow relegation contenders Bremen and Arminia Bielefeld one and two points ahead of them, respectively.
It is a must-win game for the hosts, who will be hoping that the aforementioned two teams succumb to a loss in their last games.
FC Koln vs Schalke Head-to-Head
FC Koln and Schalke have played 31 games between them. Schalke hold the bragging rights with 12 wins, with Koln prevailing in 10 encounters. Nine matches have ended in draws.
In the last meeting between the two Bundesliga sides, Koln ran out 2-1 winners at Schalke's home ground, VELTINS arena. Rafael Czichos gave the visitors the lead in the first half, which was canceled out by a Matthew Hoppe strike in the 57th minute.
However, Jan Thielmann emerged with a late winner in stoppage time, breaking the hearts of Schalke's fans.
Koln form guide in the Bundesliga: L-W-W-L-D
Schalke form guide in the Bundesliga: L-L-L-L-D
FC Koln vs Schalke Team News
Ismail Jakobs and Ellyes Skhiri are suspended for the tie. Benno Schmitz, Elvis Rexhbecaj and E.B. Dennis are all out with knocks. Jonas Hector remains sidelined with a leg problem.
Injured: Benno Schmitz, Elvis Rexhbecaj, Jonas Hector, E.B. Dennis
Suspended: Ismail Jakobs and Ellyes Skhiri
Schalke have a long list of injuries. Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Matija Nastasic have been ruled out with calf issues. Meanwhile, Frederik Ronnow continues to miss games following a groin problem.
Nabil Bentaleb, Benjamin Stambouli, Omar Mascarell, Hamza Mendyl and Nassim Boujellab are all out for the clash against FC Koln. William is set to miss the remainder of the year because of an ACL tear.
Injured: Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Matija Nastasic, Nabil Bentaleb, Benjamin Stambouli, Omar Mascarell, Hamza Mendyl, Nassim Boujellab and William
FC Koln vs Schalke Predicted XIs
FC Koln Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Timo Horn; Kingsley Ehizibue, Sebastiaan Bornauw, Rafael Czichos, Jannes Horn; Salih Ozcan, Jonas Hector; Marius Wolf, Ondrej Duda, Florian Kainz; Sebastian Andersson
Schalke Predicted XI (3-5-2): Ralf Fahrmann; Timo Becker, Salif Sane, Shkodran Mustafi; Mehmet Aydin, Blendi Idrizi, Florian Flick, Amine Harit, Sead Kolasinac; Matthew Hoppe, Mark Uth
FC Koln vs Schalke Prediction
Schalke can expect Koln to come out all guns blazing in what is a must-win match for them. Schalke have a depleted squad and Koln will likely take advantage of that and give them the best chance of survival with three points on the day.
Prediction: FC Koln 1-0 Schalke