MX23RW : Saturday, April 17 15:30:38| >> :600:266194:266194:
Mar 6, 2021 at 2.30pm UK at Rhein-Neckar-Arena
HoffenheimHoffenheim
2-1
WolfsburgWolfsburg
Baumgartner (8'), Kramaric (41')
Sessegnon (70'), Dabour (80')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Weghorst (23')
Steffen (30'), Lacroix (65'), Schlager (72'), Glasner (73'), Otavio (88')
Otavio (90+4')

Preview: Hoffenheim vs. Wolfsburg - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Hoffenheim take on Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga on Saturday, with the visitors looking to keep an eighth consecutive clean sheet in the league.

The home team, meanwhile, can play with greater freedom having picked up five points from their last three league games to move away from the relegation zone.


Match preview

Hoffenheim coach Sebastian Hoeness pictured on February 18, 2021© Reuters

Indeed, despite disappointingly crashing out of the Europa League knockout stage at the first hurdle to Norwegian side Molde, Sebastian Hoeness can at least sleep easy at night almost certainly knowing his side will remain in the Bundesliga for another season.

Last weekend's 1-1 draw at Union Berlin moved Hoffenheim nine points clear of the bottom three, with only a dreadful run of form likely to see them nervously looking over their shoulders once again.

Die Kraichgauer were unfortunate not to win in Berlin, too, with makeshift centre-back Florian Grillitsch's clumsy trip in the penalty area allowing Max Kruse to score from the penalty spot and undo a very good performance from the visitors, which did at least produce a point via Nico Schlotterbeck's own goal.

Hoeness will be hoping that with greater confidence comes greater fortune after what has been a tumultuous campaign. However, his side have it all to do against a Wolfsburg side who are not even conceding goals at present, let alone losing league matches.

Wolfsburg coach Oliver Glasner pictured on February 14, 2021© Reuters

However, despite an incredible run of form in the Bundesliga taking Wolfsburg to third in the table and six points clear of Borussia Dortmund in fifth place, Oliver Glasner would have been disappointed by his side's 2-0 defeat at RB Leipzig in the DFP-Pokal in midweek.

In a tight encounter, second-half strikes from Yussuf Poulsen and Hwang Hee-chan dumped the Wolves out of the cup, leaving them with only the league to focus on.

That may prove no bad thing, however, with competing in the Champions League for the first time since reaching the quarter-final in the 2015-16 undoubtedly Glasner and his board's priority.

They may need to begin creating more chances again in order to get over the line, though, after a pretty fortunate 2-0 win over struggling Hertha Berlin last weekend. The hosts struggled to create anything of note until Maxence Lacroix's late header wrapped up the three points, having been gifted the opener by Lukas Klunter's own goal.

Hoffenheim Bundesliga form: WLLDWD
Hoffenheim form (all competitions): LDDWLD

Wolfsburg Bundesliga form: WWWDWW
Wolfsburg form (all competitions): WWDWWL


Team News

VfL Wolfsburg's Bote Baku celebrates scoring their first goal with Kevin Mbabu and teammates on January 23, 2021© Reuters

Hoffenheim's availability crisis shows little sign of easing, with Ishak Belfodil, Kostas Stafylidis, Mijat Gacinovic, Stefan Posch, Havard Nordtveit, Kevin Akpoguma, Dennis Geiger, Ermin Bicakcic and Benjamin Hubner all likely to be ruled out of the visit of Wolfsburg.

Hoeness will be hoping for a more clinical performance from his side, with Andrej Kramaric and Ihlas Bebou a dangerous attacking partnership for any side to deal with.

Wolfsburg, meanwhile, will be missing Marin Pongracic after the defender's injury-time dismissal against Hertha, while Jerome Roussillon is unavailable due to a calf injury.

Glasner's only change in midweek was to bring John Brooks back into the side ahead of Pongracic, so the 46-year-old is likely to go with the same side once again.

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

Wolfsburg possible starting lineup:
Casteels; Mbabu, Lacroix, Brooks, Otavio; Schlager, Arnold; Baku, Gerhardt, Steffen; Weghorst


SM words green background

We say: Hoffenheim 1-2 Wolfsburg

We can envisage Wolfsburg grinding their way to yet another win, but perhaps at the expense of their remarkable run of clean sheets.

Kramaric and Bebou should cause them problems at times, but likewise Glasner's side may have too much going the other way against a makeshift defence.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com 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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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Bayern MunichBayern29215383384568
2RB Leipzig29187452232961
3Wolfsburg29159551292254
4Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt291411459441553
5Borussia DortmundDortmund281441058411746
6Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen28128845321344
7Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach29111085243943
8Union BerlinUnion Berlin29101364435943
9Freiburg30127114842643
10Stuttgart29109105146539
11Augsburg3097142942-1334
12Hoffenheim2988134147-632
13Werder Bremen2879123243-1130
14Mainz 052877143048-1828
15Arminia Bielefeld3077162246-2428
16Hertha Berlin2868143448-1426
17FC Koln2858152750-2323
18Schalke 04Schalke3027211879-6113

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