Hoffenheim v Borussia Dortmund
Bundesliga - Saturday, May 12th, 2.30 pm BST
Fourth faces third in the Bundesliga as Hoffenheim host Borussia Dortmund in a match with huge implications for next season’s Champions League.
With fifth-placed Bayer Leverkusen at home to Hannover 96, both Hoffenheim and Dortmund can drop out of the top four with a defeat. Even Leipzig can catch the home side with the right set of results; it’s not as clear-cut as the title race, that’s for certain.
It’s a fixture which regularly sees a lot of goals with five of the last seven featuring over 2.5 goals. However, it’s a fixture Hoffenheim struggle with; they haven’t beaten Dortmund since the final day of the 2012-13 season when they travelled to the Westfalenstadion and won 2 – 1 (D6, L4).
It’s not all one-way traffic. Most of Dortmund’s success comes in the home fixture of the series with the last four in Hoffenheim ending in draws, 2 – 2 twice and 1 – 1 twice.
Last weekend’s 2 – 0 defeat in Stuttgart was Hoffenheim’s first in nine games (W6, D3), a run which included a 5 – 2 win in Leipzig. Goals are a theme of Die Kraichgauer’s matches, with the last 18 all featuring at least two goals; seven saw over 3.5 goals.
At home this season, only Monchengladbach and Leverkusen left with three points and runaway champions FC Bayern were beaten 2 – 0 last September. Since February, Hoffenheim have been stronger defensively at home, conceding more than one goal on only one occasion (to Mainz) while three of the last four saw them keep clean sheets.
They are currently unbeaten in six (W5, D1) and have won the last four.
Finishing fourth would equal last season as their best-ever Bundesliga finish, even though they have ten points less and suffered five more defeats.
Dortmund come into the game in mixed form with three defeats in the last six (W2, D1), including the 6 – 0 humiliation in Munich. Four of those games ended in Wins to Nil (W2, L2).
Matters haven’t been helped by the decision of the club’s board to replace Peter Stoger at the end of the season. It’s the second such decision they have taken during 2017/18 with Peter Bosz sacked in December.
Since the announcement in April, Dortmund have won two and lost two of five. The decision came after a 12-match unbeaten run (W7, D5) came to a grinding halt at Bayern.
Away from home, they are winless in four (D2, L2) and haven’t scored more than one goal in a game since winning 3 – 2 in Cologne in February, six games ago (W1, D2).
They have only kept one clean sheet in 2018 – at Monchengladbach during a 1 – 0 win – and one since the opening three away games of the season, all of which saw them fail to concede.
While Dortmund hold something of a hex over Hoffenheim, this is the match where the form book suggests it could be broken. With the home side scoring at least two in five of the last six at the Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena, it suggests they have too much firepower for the visitors.
Over / Under Goals Hoffenheim Betting Tip, Over 1.5 goals @ odds of 1.55
Over / Under Goals Betting Tip, Over 3.5 goals @ odds of 1.80
Over / Under Goals 1st Half, Over 1.5 goals @ odds of 1.90
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