Best Odds: 17/5
Bundesliga action return following the winter break with reigning champions Bayern Munich travelling to Hoffenheim on Friday, looking to close the six-point gap behind league leaders Borussia Dortmund who play their match on Saturday.
Sitting two points away from the last European place in the standings, Hoffenheim will restart the 2018/19 season determined to make the most of the final six months of Julian Nagelsmann’s reign. One of the most talented tacticians in Germany is leaving for RB Leipzig at the end of the season and will himself be extremely keen to leave with a bang.
In his own words, a victory for Hoffenheim would start a good flow for the second half of the season. The Bayern Munich game marks the beginning of a rather difficult stretch for Hoffenheim. Die Kraichgauer will play Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig and Eintracht Frankfurt during the first seven games after the winter break and it’s fair to say Hoffenheim’s European credentials will be put to a difficult test. Interestingly enough, Nagelsmann’s men have notched up six Bundesliga draws ahead of the break, with two Champions League defeats sandwiched in the run. Hoffenheim finished their European season in fourth place in the group and won’t be playing international football in the second part of the season. It could come as a blessing in disguise for the club, as it allows them to focus on getting the best out of their Bundesliga campaign.
Germany midfielder Lukas Rupp is suffering from a knee injury and will be ruled out of contention for the forthcoming fixture.
Nuhu Kasim and David Otto have also struggled with injuries of late and could be set to miss out on the Bayern Munich game.
Bavarian giants Bayern Munich have endured a difficult start to the 2018/19 season. The Bundesliga champions have struggled for consistency for a while and new boss Niko Kovac took some time making his presence known at the Allianz Arena.
After losing unexpected points at the beginning of the campaign, Bayern Munich seem to have reached the expected level of performance and results. Unbeaten since November, the Bavarians won six and drawn two matches in all competitions and will be brimming with confidence heading into the game at the Wirsol Rhein-Neckar Arena. Kovac’s men are currently sitting in second, six points adrift of the leaders Borrusia Dortmund and will be looking to make a strong statement at the beginning of the second part of the season. The team’s confidence will be backed up by numbers which tell us that Bayern Munich are the most in-form away side in the Bundesliga with seven wins in nine road trips thus far. They will undoubtedly look to extend such a positive run, even though winning at Hoffenheim might turn out to be easier said than done given the hosts’ flying form. Bayern Munich suffered defeats in their last two trips to Hoffenheim and will have to be on their toes.
The experienced wing duo Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben will be unavailable for the opening match of the second part of the season, both though thigh injuries.
Corentin Tolisso remains a long-term absentee due to his knee injury.
Key Factors to Consider
- Hoffenheim created most chances in the league (153) during the 1st past of the season
- Hosts won last two home matches against Bayern Munich
- The Bavarians won 7 of their last nine away matches in the Bundesliga
- Bayern Munich allowed the fewest chances (46) among all sides in German top flight
- Hoffenheim drew their last six Bundesliga matches
Bayern Munich’s attempt to close the gap behind leaders Borussia Dortmund will be put to a tough test at Hoffenheim who have yet to lose in last 10 Bundesliga matches. Last six of those have been stalemates, which is enough to suggest hosts are going through a drop in form but the Bavarians should be enough of a motivation to try and turn the things around.
Best Odds: 17/5
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!