MX23RW : Thursday, July 29 02:26:45| >> :120:12511:12511:
Feb 13, 2021 at 2.30pm UK at Signal Iduna Park
DortmundBorussia Dortmund
2-2
HoffenheimHoffenheim
Sancho (24'), Braut Haaland (81')
Delaney (21'), Akanji (67')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Dabour (31'), Bebou (51')
Rudy (27'), Grillitsch (57'), Vogt (59'), Posch (60'), Samassekou (65'), Dabour (85'), Gacinovic (90+2')

Preview: Borussia Dortmund vs. Hoffenheim - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Borussia Dortmund host Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Saturday, with both sides looking to bounce back from defeat last weekend.

Dortmund's hopes of finishing in the top four in the table were damaged by a 2-1 defeat to Freiburg, while Hoffenheim lost 3-1 at home to the in-form Eintracht Frankfurt.


Match preview

Erling Braut Haaland warms up for Borussia Dortmund on February 6, 2021© Reuters

Pressure is mounting on Dortmund now, with Edin Terzic's side sitting four points outside of the Champions League qualification positions after last weekend's defeat to Freiburg.

BVB have not failed to qualify for Europe's elite competition since finishing seventh in Jurgen Klopp's last season in charge in 2014-15, with the financial implications - especially during a global pandemic - of doing so potentially disastrous for a club which routinely has its best players poached even while competing in the Champions League.

Dortmund actually started brightly at Freiburg, with Emre Can smashing the bar from 30 yards before Erling Braut Haaland was denied by Florian Muller at point-blank range after a scintillating counter-attack, but ultimately Marvin Hitz was found wanting in goal.

The hosts clearly sensed the Swiss goalkeeper's slow reflexes, with Jeong Woo-yeong and Jonathan Schmid both scoring from distance. Youssoufa Moukoko replaced the visibly-enraged Marco Reus, pulling his side back into the game with his second Bundesliga goal, before unfortunately slipping when striking the ball in injury time as Freiburg held on for a famous win.

Terzic must ensure his players get back to winning ways against a vulnerable Hoffenheim side, but will need to be aware of the threat their forthcoming opponents pose in transition after losing 4-0 at home to them on the last day of last season.

Hoffenheim coach Sebastian Hoeness pictured on January 9, 2021© Reuters

Andrej Kramaric scored all four goals in that crazy game, and Hoffenheim will surely need similar heroics from their talismanic attacker on Saturday if they are to gain a positive result.

Due to a combination of injuries and loss of form, Sebastian Hoeness's team are simply not the same one which finished sixth last season, currently languishing in 12th place on 22 points from 20 games after last weekend's defeat to Frankfurt.

Adi Hutter's side were simply too strong for their opponents, with Filip Kostic producing a masterful performance. Amin Younes found the onrushing winger in acres of space early on, with the Serbian clinically firing across goal to open the scoring. Ihlas Bebou was brought on as a half-time substitute as Hoeness looked to find a way back into the game, with the forward showing his pace by beating two Frankfurt defenders on the break before calmly slotting the ball into the bottom corner to level proceedings.

However, Frankfurt always looked like they had an extra gear, with Evan N'Dicka's powerful and precise header from only just inside the Hoffenheim penalty area pulling them back ahead, before a scintillating counter-attack wrapped up the three points. Daichi Kamada found Kostic on the left flank with a gorgeously-drilled long pass, before Kostic weaved his way up the pitch before finding Andre Silva at the back post in yet another textbook combination between the pair.

With only the Bundesliga's bottom two sides possessing a worse defensive record than Hoffenheim so far this season, Hoeness must find a way of tightening up on Saturday, otherwise Dortmund will have a field day even in their current slump of form.

Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga form: WDLLWL
Borussia Dortmund form (all competitions): DLLWWL

Hoffenheim Bundesliga form: LDWWLL


Team News

Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki pictured in January 2020© Reuters

Dortmund will remain without Roman Burki until the end of the month due to a shoulder injury, with Terzic left with little choice but to pick Hitz's confidence up from off of the floor.

Thomas Meunier, Dan-Axel Zagadou, Axel Witsel, Thorgan Hazard and Marcel Schmelzer remain sidelined, too, with Moukoko likely to come into the starting XI after making a superb impact from the bench against Freiburg.

Hoffenheim, meanwhile, continue to be without the services of several players, with Havard Nordtveit, Ryan Sessegnon, Benjamin Hubner, Ermin Bicakcic, Kevin Akpoguma, Dennis Geiger and Kostas Stafylidis all out of the trip to Dortmund.

Like Moukoko, Bebou may have earned himself a start having scored after coming on as a substitute against Frankfurt, while Florian Grillitsch may be considered to add some class to the midfield.

Borussia Dortmund possible starting lineup:
Hitz; Morey, Hummels, Akanji, Guerreiro; Delaney, Bellingham; Sancho, Reyna; Moukoko, Haaland

Hoffenheim possible starting lineup:
Baumann; Posch, Vogt, Rudy; Kaderabek, Grillitsch, Samassekou, Baumgartner, John; Bebou, Kramaric


SM words green background

We say: Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Hoffenheim

With Hoffenheim's defence continuing to be porous, we can envisage Dortmund getting back to winning ways on Saturday.

The likes of Haaland and Jadon Sancho should have too much pace and precision in transition for Hoeness's side to cope with, though Kramaric and Bebou are sure to pose a few problems of their own, too.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data


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Jadon Sancho in action for Borussia Dortmund on February 2, 2021
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Thursday's key events


ROWING
· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

HOCKEY
· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

CANOE SLALOM
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ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

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