Cologne and HSV are on course for relegation – FC and Baumgart want to stay out of each other’s way

As of now, 1. FC Cologne is threatened with a relegation duel with former coach Steffen Baumgart and his HSV. Jeff Chabot wants to “find the exit” beforehand.

May 23rd and 27th, 2024 could be extremely emotional for the “billy goats” and the new HSV coach Steffen Baumgart. For these days the relegation duels between the table 16. the Bundesliga and third in the 2nd Bundesliga. The current pairing would be: 1. FC Köln against Hamburger SV. The FC is threatened with a quick, explosive reunion with its ex-coach, who was fired in December.

The fact that Baumgart is returning to the sidelines in Cologne less than two months after his release was of course also “noticed” at Geißbockheim, as Jeff Chabot says. “In the end, we’re just looking at ourselves and not at who could wait in the relegation,” explains the central defender regarding a possible meeting in May and adds: “We’re trying to find the exit on the way before.”

Can Chabot stop Guirassy again?

The next stop on the rocky road to this exit called Class Retention is Stuttgart. Chabot, who will return to the starting line-up after serving a yellow card suspension, will have to eliminate 18-goal scorer Serhou Guirassy. He did well in the first leg; after ten goals in just five games, Guirassy left the field in Cologne without a goal.

“But that didn’t really matter to me,” Chabot reflects, “because we lost in the end.” Thanks to a brace from the now injured Deniz Undav, VfB won 2-0 in the Rheinenergiestadion, even without Guirassy’s goal. Without Undav, Stuttgart’s hopes on Saturday afternoon rest even more on the second-best Bundesliga goalscorer after Bayern’s Harry Kane.

Chabot wants to prepare for Guirassy with extensive video analysis: “I will probably have the most duels with him on the field, so I’m already preparing for him.” But the FC defender also warns in general: “Stuttgart is having a great season and has great individual players.” The role of favorite is clearly with third-placed VfB.

Chabot: “It wasn’t a nice weekend”

Cologne currently wants to defend third-to-last place. What doesn’t get any easier after the 0-1 loss against Bremen is that Mainz has moved up to one point. “It wasn’t a nice weekend, but in the end we still have enough games to turn it around,” Chabot remains optimistic and emphasizes: “It’s now important to score points – whether away or at home. Then we’ll see in the end: whatever happens. If it works without relegation, all the better.” Otherwise Baumgart is in danger.

By the way: The new HSV coach also has no desire for a relegation duel with FC. At his presentation in Hamburg on Tuesday afternoon, the 52-year-old only spoke about direct promotion: “We hope that we can score the necessary points to be able to reach first or second place – that’s what it’s all about. We have Pauli at home, we have Kiel at home.” It is important to overtake these two opponents in the promotion race.