We’re back for another week Bundesliga football, and this week’s opponent is yet another team fighting for the third place spot. Hoffenheim will look to continue a strong run of form that saw them overcome Union Berlin in some fashion the previous week. Meanwhile, BVB are fresh off a win in Wolfsburg, albeit not their prettiest, and cannot afford anymore dropped points before the next international break. The two teams are locked together in the table, with Hoffenheim just a point clear of the Black and Yellows. BVB need to leapfrog Pellegrino Matarazzo’s side, and cannot fall victim to their “Hoffenheim Curse” of seasons past.
Player to Watch: Andre Kramaric
Well this is a familiar story. A player who relishes a match against BVB, Kramaric has made a habit of punishing Dortmund in their bi-annual meetings. Playing in a deeper role this season, Kramaric has still managed to find the net despite moving away from the #9 spot. He is already sporting a three-goal and one assist tally, making him, once again, one of Hoffenheim’s most dangerous players.
In a rare twist, BVB are looking pretty fit going into the matchday. Gio Reyna should be recovered enough from his injury to at least make a bench appearance, and Jamie Bynoe-Gittens got some match minutes under his belt last weekend. Marcel Sabitzer remains sidelined with Julien Duranville, but both should be progressing toward a return in the near future.
That said, it was hard to pick a lineup for this match. Terzic could opt to continue with his experimental three-back formation, which was an excellent opportunity for the defensive-minded Ramy Bensebaini, but rotation-wise, it’s not so easy to implement. Still, I think the BVB manager will look rotate, and may return to a familiar formation for this match day.
While Adeyemi has been pitiful this season, I do not expect Terzic to drop him outright. Similarly for Haller, Terzic’s hard-headedness will likely see the Ivorian return to the starting lineup.
Despite their shaky form, I think BVB will find enough quality to see out this match. I have no idea where that optimism is coming from, but I’m going to say 2-1 nonetheless.