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Match Preview: Hoffenheim and Dortmund face off in the battle for third

It’s a crucial late season battle.

Bayern Muenchen v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga Photo by Alexander Scheuber/Getty Images Fuer MAN

Hoffenheim is coming to Signal Iduna Park to play us in what most likely will be the game that decides third place in the Bundesliga.

Hoffeheim sit one point above us on the table at the moment with 3 games left to play in the season. In our first match against Hoffenheim this year we tied them 2-2. Tuchel has indicated that Erik Durm will not be available for the game, as well as Gotze and Nuri who are out for the season. Brave Marc Bartra is back in light training but is obviously not available.

Hoffenheim’s manger Julian Naglesmann indicated that the pressure is not on his side in this match. Being top four is good enough for Hoffenheim and that is their big advantage over us.

Dortmund should look to play the best possible lineup we can on Saturday. Resting players is not an option. We should play a back four, as the back three plan simply hasn’t been working. Hopefully the center back pairing will be Sokratis and Bender with Piz and Marcel as our full backs. Weigl absolute must start in the midfield, ideally alongside Castro. The rest of the midfield should be Reus, Dembele and Kagawa. Naturally Aubameyang should be our striker. On the bench we have plenty of offensive and defensive options such as Pulisic, Raph and Rode. The key to the game will be to play calm.

Hoffenheim only need a tie to stay on top of us, so they can sit back and counter any mistake we make. That will put a lot of pressure on Weigl to help us keep meaningful possession.

The key player for Hoffenheim this game will be Wagner who has eleven goals and three assists on the season. For us, this game will probably come down to Aubameyang’s finishing. Hoffenheim will try to limit our chances, so when we get them it will be crucial to not take a bad shot. Our wildcard this game, as always, will be Dembele. If we get the world class Dembele we will win no question. If we get the “never pass” Dembele, we may be in trouble.

We haven’t lost a home game in over two years. Hopefully that bodes well for us tomorrow. What are your predictions for the match?