MX23RW : Friday, July 30 03:33:53| >> :600:6019182:6019182:
Feb 21, 2021 at 5pm UK at Rhein-Neckar-Arena
Werder BremenWerder Bremen
Bebou (26'), Baumgartner (44'), Dabour (49'), Rutter (90')
Rudy (16'), Kaderabek (51')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Toprak (8'), Friedl (69')

Preview: Hoffenheim vs. Werder Bremen - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Bundesliga clash between Hoffenheim and Werder Bremen, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Hoffenheim host Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga on Sunday, with the two sides level on points in the table as they look to move clearer of relegation trouble.

Both sides drew last weekend, which leaves them five points clear of the bottom three.

Match preview

Hoffenheim's Munas Dabbur celebrates scoring their first goal on February 13, 2021© Reuters

Hoffenheim continued their strong record against Borussia Dortmund in recent years by claiming a respectable 2-2 draw away from home last weekend.

After Erling Braut Haaland and Ihlas Bebou missed guilt-edged chances for either side, Jadon Sancho showed the pair of strikers how it was done by coolly slotting past Oliver Baumann to open the scoring after a superb slide-rule pass by Raphael Guerreiro.

However, Sebastian Hoeness's side rallied in response, with a fine switch of play taking several BVB players out of the game to help create space for Munas Dabbur to equalise, before Marwin Hitz flapped a cross straight at Bebou to allow Hoffenheim to take the lead after the break.

Haaland controversially salvaged a point for Edin Terzic's side by racing in behind Hoffenheim's defence after Dabbur had remained injured on the ground for several seconds, with the Israel striker in fine form once again in midweek by bagging a brace in a 3-3 draw with Molde in the Europa League last-32 on Thursday evening.

Werder Bremen coach Florian Kohfeldt pictured on February 13, 2021© Reuters

In contrast, Werder Bremen continue to defend solidly having not conceded more than once in any of their last seven matches, but struggle for creativity.

Indeed, Florian Kohfeldt's side endured a goalless bore draw against Freiburg last weekend which would have tested even the most hardened football fan's concentration skills such was the lack of quality on display.

Milos Veljkovic spurned the best opportunity of the game moments before half time after seeing his header denied by Florian Muller at point-blank range, but Kohfeldt clearly seemed content with avoiding defeat as his team sat deep after the break to comfortably hold onto what they had.

Bremen may find opportunities easier to come by against a Hoffenheim side who defend and press higher up the pitch, with the likes of Milot Rashica and Joshua Sargent likely to enjoy the space in behind.

Hoffenheim Bundesliga form: DWWLLD
Hoffenheim form (all competitions): WWLLDD

Werder Bremen Bundesliga form: DWLWDD
Werder Bremen form (all competitions): WLWDWD

Team News

Hoffenheim's Andrej Kramaric celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on December 20, 2019© Reuters

Hoffenheim's availability problems continue to plague their season, with Kevin Vogt suspended for the match against Bremen after the defender picked up his fifth booking of the season in Dortmund.

Stefan Posch is also unavailable due to testing positive for COVID-19, with Ishak Belfodil, Robert Skov, Andrej Kramaric, Havard Nordtveit, Ryan Sessegnon, Kevin Akpoguma, Dennis Geiger, Ermin Bicakcic, Benjamin Hubner and Kostas Stafylidis all likely to remain in the treatment room.

Bremen, meanwhile, will travel to Hoffenheim without defenders Veljkovic and Marco Friedl due to calf and ankle injuries respectively.

Otherwise Kohfeldt appears to have no other selection concerns, with Niklas Moisander and Christian Gross likely to come into the defence.

Hoffenheim possible starting lineup:
Baumann; Kasim, Bogarde, Richards; Kaderabek, Rudy, Samassekou, John; Baumgartner; Bebou, Dabbur

Werder Bremen possible starting lineup:
Pavlenka; Moisander, Toprak, Gross; Gebre Selassie, Eggestein, Mohwald, Bittencourt, Augustinsson; Rashica, Sargent

SM words green background

We say: Hoffenheim 1-1 Werder Bremen

Hoffenheim's astonishing availability crisis leaves them vulnerable, but we think they can avoid defeat against a Bremen side who have shown themselves to be content with a point on several occasions this season.

Both side's domestic aims are likely to be centered around avoiding relegation this season, with the Europa League and the DFB-Pokal respectively providing the real ceiling of their ambitions.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:data

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Friday's key events

· The athletics schedule begins, with 100m sprinter Dina Asher-Smith among the names in action on the opening day. The men's 10,000m final concludes the action, with Team GB's Sam Atkin and Marc Scott taking part in the absence of 2012 and 2016 champion Sir Mo Farah (1am-2.30pm)

· Victoria Thornley is Team GB's representative in the women's single sculls final (1.33am)
· Great Britain will be going for gold in the men's eight final (2.25am)

· Team GB duo Molly Renshaw and Abbie Wood take part in the women's 200m breaststroke final, but new Olympic record-holder Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa is the hot favourite (2.41am)
· Luke Greenbank has very realistic ambitions of picking up a medal in the men's 200m backstroke final (2.50am)
· There is also British representation in the women's 100m freestyle final, although any medal for Anna Hopkin would be a surprise (2.59am)
· With one gold and one silver already under his belt at these Games, Duncan Scott goes again in the men's 200m individual medley final (3.16am)

· Bryony Page will be looking to repeat her 2016 heroics in the women's event (5am-7.30pm)

· Bradley Forbes-Cryans will be looking to emulate Rio gold medallist Joe Clarke in the men's kayak event (6am-9am)

· The women's tournament enters the quarter-finals, with Great Britain facing Australia at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium (10am)

> Today's schedule in full
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