Hoffenheim vs Ludogorets by Gustav
Hoffenheim comes from really important and a morale boosting victory last Saturday afternoon as the side managed to crush one of the rivals for European tickets RB Leipzig with 4:0 victory in front of own fans. However, it must be said that the match was much more equal than what the final result shows and that their visitors had much more of the ball possession, but the goals were counting on Hoffenheim's side.
Amiri brought the hosts into the lead in 13th minute, while the guests looked better since then, however Hoffenhim doubled up the lead in 52nd via Gnabry and continuing to be very threatening on counter attacks reaching two more goals, again via Gnabry and Uth. The side now stands at fifth position, but only with three points less than second placed Leipzig and surely aiming Champions League ticket till the end of the season.
Hosts should be lined up in 3-4-1-2 formation with Uth and Kramaric as their strikers, plus most likely Geiger as offensive midfielder. They are already eliminated from the competition and that may reflect on their starting eleven. Injured are central defender Kevin Vogt and forward Sandro. Forward Adam Szalai and offensive midfielder Kerem Demirbay are both suspended.
Ludogorets, on the other side, had an easy game in front of own fans last Monday afternoon, as the side won easily over Dunav Ruse 2:0, thanks to goals from Marcelinho within two minutes, in 35th and 36th minute of the first halftime.
Other than that, of course that the players of Ludogorets looked way better, but have also lowered down the tempo once they had the double lead, while the visitors looked very passive and without real chances in front of home side goal. The side continued leading the table now, having a point more than second placed CSKA Sofia and already seven more than Levski. Since they don't have better mutual score against Basaksehir, the side can't afford to lose in this one.
Visitors are set to play in 4-2-3-1 formation with Misidjan as central striker, but also Wanderson, Marcelinho and Lukoki as offensive midfielders. Goalkeeper Vladislav Stoyanov remains long term absentee without performing in the season anyway.
Situation in this group makes me feel the game will be open and attacking from the first minute. Ludogorets needs to get something out of this game most likely, while the German side can approach it with a bit more relaxed way, since they have already got excluded from further competition. However, no matter which players enter this game for Hoffenheim, I'm sure that they will try to show their best and be a real opponent to the Bulgarians who are way more quality in attack than what they show at the back.