Preview: RB Leipzig vs. Hoffenheim

Wednesday night sees part two of the Julian Naglesmann derby trilogy as RB Leipzig and Hoffenheim come head-to-head in the DFB-Pokal second round. Having progressed to this stage in the competition with a 3-1 victory away to Viktoria Cologne, Leipzig will be hopeful of securing their place in the next round with a win at the Red Bull Arena.

As mentioned, the two sides met earlier this season and Die Roten Bullen took the spoils in a 2-1 win upon their trip to Sinsheim and the Rhein-Necker Arena. With a Yussuf Poulsen brace creating a two-goal deficit, an added-time penalty from Andrej Kramarić to prevented Leipzig from back-to-back clean sheets. In their previous five encounters, Hoffenheim have scored 13 goals, with five coming on their last visit to Leipzig.

Hoffenheim thoroughly enjoyed their outing over the past weekend by recording a resounding 4-0 triumph over Stuttgart with the assistance of an Ishak Belfodil brace – which made it four goals in nine appearances for the Algerian this season. The win improves their less than impressive form of late to two wins in their last five games.

Leipzig, on the other hand, come into this fixture in good form, despite consecutive 0-0 draws in the Bundesliga. Currently possessing the title of the best defensive record and the most shutouts, they are unbeaten in their last eight domestic matches since the defeat to Borussia Dortmund on matchday one and are looking to make it a ninth this week.

Match Information

Date: Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Kick-off: 20:45 (CET)

Venue: Red Bull Arena

Referee: Marco Fritz

Broadcasting: Sky Sport 6 (Germany), ESPN 3 (United States)

Previous Meetings

28.06.16: Hoffenheim 2-2 RB Leipzig

28.01.17: RB Leipzig 2-1 Hoffenheim

02.12.17: Hoffenheim 4-0 RB Leipzig

21.04.18: RB Leipzig 2-5 Hoffenheim

29.09.18: Hoffenheim 1-2 RB Leipzig

Current Form

RB Leipzig

Rosenborg 1-3 (A) | Nuremberg 6-0 (H) | Augsburg 0-0 (A) | Celtic 2-0 (H) | Schalke 04 0-0 (H)

Hoffenheim

Manchester City 1-2 (H) | Eintracht Frankfurt 1-2 (H) | Nuremberg 1-3 (A) | Olympique Lyon 3-3 (H) | Stuttgart 4-0 (H)

Team News

RB Leipzig

Injured: Emil Forsberg (groin strain)

Suspended: Marcelo Saracchi

Hoffenheim

Injured: Lukas Rupp (cruciate ligament rupture), Nadiem Amiri (fatigue fracture), Florian Grillitsch (bruised ankle), Benjamin Hübner (concussion)

Absent: Dennis Geiger (fitness)

Predicted Line-ups

RB Leipzig

Gulácsi

Mukiele – Orban – Upamecano – Halstenberg

Sabitzer – Demme – Kampl

Poulsen – Cunha – Werner

Hoffenheim

Baumann

Hoogma – Vogt – Posch

Kadeřábek – Bittencourt – Demirbay – Nelson – Schulz

Szalai – Kramarić

Press Conference

Ralf Rangnick“It’s clear to us what Hoffenheim do well and what defines them as a squad, but we also know where their team is vulnerable. We’ve got to show that we can find the right way to break them down to give us the advantage on Wednesday.

Wednesday’s game features a Europa League club versus a Champions League club. We’re looking forward to the challenge. We’ll try to put in a really good performance and give our all to reach the next round.”

[Twitter/@RBLeipzig_EN]

Score Prediction

RB Leipzig 2-1 Hoffenheim

[Photo: GEPA Pictures]

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