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Hoffenheim logo
Bundesliga | Gameweek 34
May 18, 2024 at 2.30pm UK
Campo La Quinta
Bayern logo

4 - 2

Beier (8'), Kramaric (68', 85', 87')
Promel (51'), Grillitsch (54'), Kramaric (88')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Tel (4'), Davies (6')
Zaragoza (90+4')

Preview: Hoffenheim vs. Bayern Munich - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Hoffenheim and Bayern Munich, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

In what may or may not be Thomas Tuchel's last game as Bayern Munich head coach, the deposed Bundesliga champions bid to seal a second-placed finish on Saturday, when they travel to Hoffenheim for their season finale.

Meanwhile, their hosts are guaranteed to finish in the top eight of the table, and qualification for next season's Champions League is not out of the question either.

Match preview

Hoffenheim's Wout Weghorst celebrates scoring their second goal with John Brooks on October 28, 2023© Reuters

Should an exceptional set of circumstances transpire over the next fortnight, there could very well be a seat for Hoffenheim at Europe's top table for the 2024-25 season, although Pellegrino Matarazzo's men could incredibly also qualify for the Europa League, Europa Conference League or miss out on a continental spot entirely.

Thanks to a 6-0 dismantling of demoted SV Darmstadt 98 on the penultimate matchday - where Maximilian Beier and Ihlas Bebou both helped themselves to braces - Hoffenheim enter gameweek 34 sat seventh in the table, three points below Eintracht Frankfurt and one clear of eighth-placed Freiburg.

Hoffenheim's current standing would see Saturday's hosts earn a Conference League ticket, although much is dependent on the results of Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund's Europa League and Champions League finals after the Bundesliga earned an additional spot in the latter tournament via their UEFA coefficient.

Therefore, should Matarazzo's men pip Frankfurt - who face RB Leipzig on the final day - to sixth and Dortmund beat Real Madrid in the European Cup final, they will be Champions League-bound for the 2024-25 campaign, but losing to Bayern and a Freiburg win will eliminate them from European contention entirely if Leverkusen lose the Europa League final.

Hoffenheim ought not to waste their energy crunching the numbers behind such mind-boggling scenarios, especially as Matarazzo's side have a worrying home trend to buck against Bayern, having not kept a single Bundesliga clean sheet at the PreZero Arena all season long.

Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel on April 9, 2024© Reuters

If Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel is to stay true to his word, Saturday's game will bring the curtain down on his short-lived reign, although the most recent developments suggests that his Allianz Arena chapter may not be closing just yet after all.

With Bayern suffering setback after setback in their pursuit of a successor, FC Hollywood are now believed to be fighting tooth and nail to keep the former Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund boss, in spite of the fact that they will end the campaign without a single slice of silverware.

A torturous Champions League semi-final exit to Real Madrid doused the last flickering hope of bringing a trophy back to Munich, but Tuchel's men at least salvaged some pride against Wolfsburg last weekend, where Leon Goretzka and 19-year-old Lovro Zvonarek struck in a 2-0 success.

However, Tuchel's team are not yet assured of the runners-up spot, as surprise package Stuttgart are only two points behind Saturday's visitors, although a point should be enough for the silver medal thanks to their vastly superior goal difference.

Nevertheless, the final whistle of the 2023-24 season cannot come soon enough for a Bayern side boasting just two wins from their last seven top-flight away matches, but they put three past Hoffenheim without reply in January and are unbeaten in six against their hosts since a shock 4-1 loss in September 2020.

Hoffenheim Bundesliga form:

Bayern Munich Bundesliga form:

Bayern Munich form (all competitions):

Team News

Bayern Munich's Harry Kane celebrates scoring their second goal on April 30, 2024© Reuters

A quartet of infirm Hoffenheim players are set to miss the final day, including ACL victims Mergim Berisha and Marco John, while Dennis Geiger (groin) and Stanley Nsoki (hip) are also confined to the medical bay.

However, all of Matarazzo's men who contributed to the 6-0 slaughter of Bochum emerged unscathed, and as five of those goals were struck before the break, the hosting manager had the luxury of making a multitude of early changes.

Anton Stach was one of two players to come off at half time after suffering from an illness in the lead-up to the game, but there is no suggestion that he will not be able to reprise his role in an unchanged starting XI.

As for a ravaged Bayern Munich crop, Tuchel was dealt another double fitness blow in the victory over Wolfsburg, where centre-back Kim Min-jae and attacker Bryan Zaragoza both had to be withdrawn on the 75-minute mark due to ankle and calf issues respectively.

Neither man should make the cut on Saturday, where Tuchel is already set to be without a surfeit of star men in Leroy Sane (abdominal), Serge Gnabry (hamstring), Jamal Musiala (knee), Kingsley Coman (groin) and Raphael Guerreiro (ligament), in addition to long-term hamstring victim Tarek Buchmann and right-back Sacha Boey, out for personal reasons.

The back concern Harry Kane is nursing will also end his season prematurely, and as Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is still struggling with an illness, teenage hotshot Mathys Tel should spearhead the charge again.

Hoffenheim possible starting lineup:
Baumann; Grillitsch, Akpoguma, Kabak; Kaderabek, Stach, Promel, Bulter; Kramaric; Bebou, Beier

Bayern Munich possible starting lineup:
Neuer; Kimmich, De Ligt, Dier, Mazraoui; Laimer, Goretzka; Zvonarek, Muller, Davies; Tel

SM words green background

We say: Hoffenheim 2-1 Bayern Munich

Bayern's recent successful exploits against Hoffenheim should count for nought on Saturday, as Tuchel will have to put out a makeshift attack and has overseen several dismal defensive displays on the road of late.

As such, the former champions' season seems destined to end on a sour note against Champions League-chasing Hoffenheim, who will then be forced to play the waiting game to learn their European fate.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Group A

Q Germany Germany22006
2 Switzerland Switzerland21104
3 Scotland flag Scotland20111
4 Hungary Hungary20020

Group B

Q Spain Spain22006
2 Italy Italy21013
3 Albania national flag Albania20111
4 Croatia Croatia20111

Group C

1 England flag England21104
2 Denmark Denmark20202
3 Slovenia Slovenia20202
4 Serbia Serbia20111

Group D

1 France France11003
2 Austria Austria21013
3 Netherlands Netherlands11003
4 Poland Poland20020

Group E

1 Romania Romania11003
2 Ukraine Ukraine21013
3 Slovakia Slovakia21013
4 Belgium Belgium10010

Group F

1 Turkey Turkey11003
2 Portugal Portugal11003
3 Czech Republic Czech Republic10010
4 Georgia Georgia10010

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