Hoffenheim vs Leverkusen by Gustav
Hoffenheim comes from 1:1 draw away from home against Freiburg last weekend, as the team increased their undefeated streak to four matches now in Bundesliga. However, it must be said that they probably deserved more, being with much more of the ball possession and with much more chances created overall.
However, hosts were the ones who took the lead first, in 56th minute via Philipp who missed firstly a penalty kick, but Kramaric leveled up the result just six minutes later. Hoffenheim remained better till the end, but the scoreline never changed. The side is having three consecutive victories at home since the restart of the league as they look to continue in the same way, as they stand at fourth position, having just a point less than third placed Dortmund that stands on a position that leads directly to Champions League.
Hoffenheim will be playing in 3-5-2 formation with Kramaric and Wagner as forwards. Central defender Kevin Vogt (21/0) is suspended for this one, while injured for this match remains offensive midfielder and forward Mark Uth (14/6). Midfielders Lukas Rupp (11/2) and Pavel Kaderabek (20/0) are both doubtful but with chances to recover in time.
Leverkusen, on the other side, continued with poor form as the team comes only from a 1:1 draw in front of own fans against Werder Bremen last weekend which was their third consecutive game in Bundesliga without a victory. In the mean-time, they also played Champions League 1/8 finals clashes against Ateltico Madrid, coming from a goalless draw last Wednesday against the Spaniards on the road which ment exclusion after 2:4 defeat in front of own fans.
It must be said that Leverkusen was actually better than Werder in that game, but the team didn't convert their chances in a proper way. Volland brought the home team into the lead in seventh minute, while Pizarro leveled up in 79th minute, with the home team being better but also missing a penalty kick in seventh minute of additional time. Bayer is now at tenth position, with just four points less than Europa League placed sides and must win and finally start playing good in consecutive matches if they are to fight seriously for the European exit.
Visitors from Leverkusen will be playing in 4-2-3-1 formation, using Chicharito as central striker, plus Bellarabi, Volland and Brandt. Guests won't be able to count at midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu (15/6) and left back Wendell (23/2). Central defender Jonathan Tah (16/1) is injured, same as long term absentee, midfielder Lars Bender (9/0). Other central defender Omer Toprak (18/1) is doubtful but will be involved most likely.
- Hoffenheim have scored at least 2 goals in 6 of their last 7 home matches (Bundesliga).
Hoffenheim is unbeaten in last four matches and they currently sit in the Champions League position spot and remain in a must win situation. Leverkusen is far away from a stable team without a victory in last three and I don't see them remaining very competitive for this one. Hosts have been looking really solid so far in the season in front of own fans.