A battle between two of Germany’s most hated clubs will occur this weekend as RB Leipzig welcomes 1899 Hoffenheim to the Red Bull Arena, with both sides in pursuit of a place in Europe next season. When this weekend’s hosts’ travelled to Rhein-Neckar-Arena back in December, Julian Nagglesmann’s men handed Leipzig their heaviest ever Bundesliga defeat, scoring four with no return. Thanks to goals from Nadiem Amiri, Mark Uth and a 40-yard looping strike from Serge Gnabry – who also had another on the day.
RB Leipzig’s draw away to Werder Bremen last weekend put an end to a dreadful week which had seen Die Roten Bullen concede an accumulated nine goals in just two matches versus Bayer Leverkusen and Olympique Marseille. When Niklas Moisander put Bremen ahead in front of their home crowd, the travelling support must’ve been dreading the thought of a third consecutive defeat in six days. Luckily for them, half-time substitute Ademola Lookman came up with the goods five minutes after his introduction, firing past Jiří Pavlenka at the near post to secure a point on the road.
Sitting just one point behind their opponents in 7th and unbeaten in their last seven matches, including a 6-0 thrashing of Cologne, Hoffenheim make the trip to Saxony in a good vein of form. Last weekend they faced another relegation-threatened side in Hamburg in front of a home crowd, where the hosts were able to obtain all three points with a 2-0 win over Christian Titz’s side, as Serge Gnabry and Ádám Szalai both found the back of the net in the first-half.
Under the stewardship of Naggelsmann, Hoffenheim are one of the best team when it comes to adapting to in-game changes. Being very fluid in attack and lightning-quick in transition, the visitors pose a very difficult challenge and adequate preparations on Leipzig’s behalf will have to be in order to nullify their threat.
Date: Saturday, April 21, 2018
Kick-off: 15:30 (CET)
Venue: Red Bull Arena
Referee: Tobias Welz
Broadcasting: Sky Sport Bundesliga 1 (Germany)
26/08/16: 1899 Hoffenheim 2-2 Leipzig
28/01/17: RB Leipzig 2-1 1899 Hoffenheim
02/12/17: 1899 Hoffenheim 4-0 RB Leipzig
Hannover 2-3 (A) | Olympique Marseille 1-0 (H) | Bayer Leverkusen 1-4 (H) | Olympique Marseille 5-2 (A) | Werder Bremen 1-1 (A)
Wolfsburg 3-0 (H) | Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-3 (A) | Cologne 6-0 (H) | Eintracht Frankfurt 1-1 (A) | Hamburg 2-0 (H)
Injured: Marcel Halstenberg (anterior cruciate ligament) | Konrad Laimer (hamstring) | Marcel Sabitzer (shoulder)
Doubt: Dayot Upamecano (thigh) | Naby Keïta (back)
Injured: Denis Geiger (hamstring) | Stefan Posch (groin strain)
Illsanker – Orban – Konaté – Bernardo
Demme – Kampl
Lookman – Forsberg
Werner – Augustin
Nordtveit – Vogt – Hübner
Kadeřábek – Grillitsch – Amiri – Schulz
Kramarić – Szalai – Gnabry
RB Leipzig 1-2 1899 Hoffenheim