Schalke 04 and 1. FC Köln meet on Sunday. Despite the currently completely different starting position, Steffen Baumgart expects a duel between two equally strong teams.

First a 0:3 bankruptcy, in which the performance was quite acceptable, and then a 1:6 swatter, which was reminiscent of the worst games of the relegation season both in terms of the result and the performance retrieved. It quickly becomes clear: Schalke started the new year very badly.

The Cologne team, on the other hand, played two good games: First Werder Bremen were beaten 7-1 before FC Bayern were awarded a deserved point – where even a win could have been possible.

There are two starting positions that could hardly be more different. It is therefore all the more appropriate that the two teams meet on Sunday afternoon. However, Steffen Baumgart does not want to hear anything about a situation in which Effzeh travels to Gelsenkirchen as the supposed favorite.

“This is a team that plays on an equal footing with us,” warned the royal blue coach (via image). “I know that everyone in Cologne now expects us to clearly win against Schalke. But we know what’s in store for us and how difficult this task will be.”

The clear route of the Cologne coach: The ailing Schalke should not be underestimated.

The reason for his assessment: “At Schalke we shouldn’t take the first half against Leipzig as a benchmark, but the first 45 minutes against Frankfurt. Schalke had a lot of scoring chances and could have gotten a different result.”

So far so right. However, the question is which 45 minutes is more the norm. If it is up to the S04 fans, who were almost shocked on Tuesday evening, there will be a clear reaction at the weekend. Baumgart would like to avoid precisely this potential stumbling block. “It would be too early to declare the relegation battle over after two games,” he warned.

This article was originally published on as Baumgart warns: Schalke are “on an equal footing” with Cologne despite bringing up the rear.