High-flying Hoffenheim open the weekend Bundesliga account with a top-four tussle against Borussia Dortmund on Friday night. There is a point difference between the two sides in fourth and sixth place as both sides look to make another step towards the Champions League places.
Hoffenheim yet to lose
It has been a remarkable season for high-flying Hoffenheim, who managed to remain undefeated in 14 round of the German championship. The results have come as overachievement for even the most enthusiastic fans, but Hoffenheim are keen to keep their form on the high as they head into the high-profile duel with Borussia Dortmund in attempt to preserve their unbeaten record. Friday encounter will be their biggest test so far and it comes at the delicate moment as Julian Nagelsmann’s men appear to be losing pace. The 1-1 draw at Bayern Munich opened the four-match stalemate run which saw a 4-0 win over FC Koln getting sandwiched within. Hoffenheim are coming off from a goalless stalemate at Eintracht Frankfurt and the following game will be a great chance to test their abilities. The hosts will be hoping their in-form star Sandro Wagner will be able to continue his impressive exploits which saw him score 17 Bundesliga goals in 2016.
Hoffenheim will be without defender Pavel Kaderabek who is set to miss his first game of the season due to gastroenteritis. In addition, midfielders Sebastian Rudy and Kerem Demirbay are also unavailable through rib and thigh injury, respectively.
Dortmund struggle with consistency
It has been a rollercoaster season for Thomas Tuchel’s men so far, who are enjoying mixed fortunes in the Bundesliga. Sitting in sixth place at the standings with 25 points to their name, Dortmund have lost three games in the new season and drawn four which in total is exactly the same number of the wind they achieved thus far – seven. Since their morale-boosting triumph over the reigning champions Bayern Munich, Tuchel’s side went through a bitter defeat to Frankfurt, sailed to victory over their namesakes from Monchengladbach and notched back-to-back draws against Real Madrid and FC Koln. Their last Bundesliga outing proved to be a frustrating affair as Dortmund were forced to chase the result for the most part of the game and were quite fortunate to avoid defeat thanks to a late equaliser from Marco Reus. Dortmund are a work in progress, but the bumps in the road are keeping them trailing in Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig’s wake. Dortmund are eight points behind the leading teams and are desperate for points that could slot them back in the Champions League positions.
Tuchel is facing a huge selection headache for the Friday’s match. Roman Burki will be out for around eight weeks with his hand fracture, while Sokratis, Sahin, Subotic, Guerreiro and Kagawa are all ruled out for the occasion. Gotze is yet to recover from his knee injury, but there are some chances he will be fit to feature.
Hoffenheim are enjoying a fantastic season in the Bundesliga which saw them lose a single home game thus far and we predict that Nagelsmann’s men could prove to be a nut too tough for Borussia Dortmund to crack. Both teams will be looking to make a break since their draws in the last round, so we do expect an openly-contested clash.
Top pick: Hoffenheim to lead at any time 2.15 (23/20) @BetVictor
Alternative pick 1: Goal in both halves – yes 1.5 (1/2) @Coral
Alternative pick 2: AH Hoffenheim +0.5 2.08 (43/40) @Bet365