Though the opening-round match of the DFB Cup at SV Meppen is still more than a week away and the start of the Bundesliga at VfB Stuttgart is another eight days after that, you can still get a bit of 1. FC Köln match action this weekend when RheinEnergieStadion hosts Colonia Cup.
Consisting of four matches over two days, the FC will host Stoke City (England), FC Porto (Portugal), and Valencia CF (Spain) for a four-match event Saturday and Sunday, August 1st and 2nd.
The hosts will take the pitch in the first match of each day’s doubleheaders, taking on Stoke Saturday at 15:00 CET, with Porto and Valencia to follow at 17:45. Sunday, the effzeh will face Valencia, with the same 15:00 CET kickoff time.
Saturday’s tie with Stoke brings the possibility of a handful of former Bundesligists showing their faces for the visitors from England. Ibrahim Afellay (Schalke), Phillipp Wollscheid (Leverkusen), abd Marko Arnautovic (Bremen) are all on the current Stoke City roster with relatively recent Bundesliga experience. More interestingly, the match could see new acquisition Leonardo Bittencourt face two of his former Hannover 96 running mates in Mame Diouf and Joselu.
Sunday’s opponent, Valencia, does not feature the same collection of familiar Bundesliga faces of the past, but they do currently employ World Cup champion Shkrodan Mustafi, who has played few matches on German soil since emerging into Joachim Löw’s national side.
The effzeh will not, of course, face FC Porto, but with a long-standing legacy as a European giant and a solid collection of talent leaves their two matches in Colonia Cup with plenty of appeal, too, especially for a city ready for the summer break to end.
Tickets for the weekend’s matches can be purchased for either match day for €12.20, which includes both matches for either Saturday or Sunday. A two-day pass runs just €21.20.
No word, as of yet, whether the effzeh matches will be streamed live or made available as replays via FC-TV.