Hoffenheim vs RB Leipzig
PreZero Arena, Sinsheim
Friday, 12-06-2020 @9:30pm
RB Leipzig have not had a pleasing return of the Bundesliga this year, having failed to win three of their five matches so far, all ending in disappointing draws.
Their rusty form knocked them out from the title race in the middle of May, but more importantly, they are now in danger of potentially giving away their third place to Borussia Monchengladbach or Bayer Leverkusen.
Julian Nagelsmann’s side currently have 59 points on the board, three points ahead of Gladbach.
Although the Foals cannot realistically overtake Die Roten Bullen in this weekend’s round of fixtures, it could be imperative for Julian Nagelsmann’s men to secure a victory against Hoffenheim as they look to move one step closer towards Champions League qualification.
For Hoffenheim, they haven’t had a bright campaign whatsoever. Although they are currently seventh in the league table, the Sinsheim outfit is coming on the back of a 2-2 draw with Fortuna Dusseldorf – a match which brought an end to coach Alfred Schreuder’s time as head coach.
The Dutchman was relieved of his duties this week due to planning differences, which means Hoffenheim are now heading into this game under the leadership of caretaker manager Marcel Rapp.
Hoffenheim will be without Benjamin Hubner due to his red card against Dusseldorf last weekend, while Jacob Bruun Larsen, Ishak Belfodil, Sargis Adamyan and Kostas Stafylidis are all on the treatment table. Hubner’s place at left-back could be taken by Pavel Kaderabek, but there are not expected to be many alterations from the side that started last weekend. Florian Grillitsch is pushing for a spot in the XI, having been involved off the bench against Dusseldorf, although Moanes Dabour should keep his position at the tip of the attack.
As for Leipzig, key centre-back Dayot Upamecano is suspended due to his red card against Paderborn, opening the door for Marcel Halstenberg to earn a start at the back. Konrad Laimer is also pushing for a start in the middle of the park, but Marcel Sabitzer, Yussuf Poulsen and Fabrice Hartmann remain unavailable for selection through injury. Timo Werner continues to be linked with a move to Chelsea but will again lead the line for the visitors, who will be determined to move to within a point of Dortmund in the table.
This is one of the highest-scoring fixtures in Bundesliga history. Eight competitive games between these sides have resulted in 29 goals – nearly four per match. Hoffenheim’s 42 goals have been scored by 13 different players. Kramaric leads the way with seven, one more than Baumgartner. Werner is enjoying his best-ever season in front of goal, with 25 scored in 30 games. He has scored seven against Hoffenheim, including two in the reverse fixture. Leipzig coach Nagelsmann left Hoffenheim for the Red Bull Arena last June having won 44 percent of his games with the Sinsheimers – a club record. Only league leaders Bayern Munich (30) have conceded fewer goals than Leipzig (32) this term, despite the fact that Nagelsmann has tested 12 different players in three, four and five-man backlines.
The other Bundesliga games this weekend
-Wolfsburg vs Freiburg @4:30pm
-Dusseldorf vs Dortmund @4:30pm
-Koln vs Union Berlin @4:30pm
-Hertha Berlin vs Frankfurt @4:30pm
-Paderbon vs Bremen @4:30pm
-Bayern vs Monchengladbach @7:30pm
-Mainz vs Augsburg @4:30pm
-Schalke vs Leverkusen @7pm