Monday, September 20

Preview: Hoffenheim vs. RB Leipzig - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Hoffenheim vs. RB Leipzig - prediction, team news, lineups: ID:402008: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews Friday's Bundesliga clash between Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig, including team news and predicted lineups.

RB Leipzig will be looking to move to within a point of second-placed Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga table when they travel to Hoffenheim on Friday night.

Julian Nagelsmann's side were held to a 1-1 draw by bottom club Paderborn last weekend, while seventh-paced Hoffenheim will enter the match off the back of a 2-2 draw with Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Match preview

Hoffenheim announced earlier this week that they had parted ways with head coach Alfred Schreuder with immediate effect, despite the fact that there are only four games of the Bundesliga season left.

In a statement, the club's director of football Alexander Rosen revealed that "different views on important detailed issues" led to Schreuder leaving his role ahead of Friday's clash with Leipzig.

A team of coaches will work alongside Rosen to lead the team for the remainder of the season, and Hoffenheim are very much in the argument for a top-six finish as the campaign heads for its latter stages.

Indeed, a total of 43 points from 30 matches has left them in seventh spot in the table, just two points off Wolfsburg, who currently hold the final Europa League position.

Die Kraichgauer have only lost one of their five games since the Bundesliga resumed in the middle of May and have won two of their last three against Koln and Mainz 05 during a solid run of form.

Leipzig, meanwhile, will enter the match off the back of a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to basement side Paderborn last weekend.

Naglesmann's side have only lost three league matches this season, which is the best record in the division, but it would be fair to say that too many draws have cost them the chance to challenge for the title.

Indeed, Leipzig have shared the points in 11 of their 30 league matches, including in five of their last seven top-flight fixtures. They have been excellent on their travels in recent months, though, winning three of their last four away games in the Bundesliga, scoring 14 times in the process.

Die Roten Bullen are currently four points off second-placed Dortmund, while they are 11 behind leaders Bayern Munich, who are firmly on course for another title.

The club will also be eagerly anticipating an announcement on the Champions League as they impressively overcame Tottenham Hotspur in the round of 16 before the campaign was called to a halt.

Hoffenheim form: DLDWWD

Leipzig Bundesliga form: DDWDWD
Leipzig form (all competitions): WDWDWD

Team News

Hoffenheim will be without Benjamin Hubner due to his red card against Dusseldorf last weekend, while Jacob Bruun Larsen, Ishak Belfodil, Sargis Adamyan and Kostas Stafylidis are all on the treatment table.

Hubner's place at left-back could be taken by Pavel Kaderabek, but there are not expected to be many alterations from the side that started last weekend.

Florian Grillitsch is pushing for a spot in the XI, having been involved off the bench against Dusseldorf, although Moanes Dabour should keep his position at the tip of the attack.

As for Leipzig, key centre-back Dayot Upamecano is suspended due to his red card against Paderborn, opening the door for Marcel Halstenberg to earn a start at the back.

Konrad Laimer is also pushing for a start in the middle of the park, but Marcel Sabitzer, Yussuf Poulsen and Fabrice Hartmann remain unavailable for selection through injury.

Timo Werner continues to be linked with a move to Chelsea but will again lead the line for the visitors, who will be determined to move to within a point of Dortmund in the table.

Hoffenheim possible starting lineup:
Baumann; Nordtveit, Posch, Bicakcic, Kaderabek; Rudy, Grillitsch; Skov, Baumgartner, Zuber; Dabour

Leipzig possible starting lineup:
Gulacsi; Mukiele, Klostermann, Halstenberg, Angelino; Kampl, Laimer; Olmo, Nkunku; Schick, Werner

We say: Hoffenheim 1-2 Leipzig

Hoffenheim have lost eight times on home soil in the Bundesliga this season, while Leipzig have the second-best away record in the division, recording nine wins from 15 matches. We are expecting a tight game on Friday evening but expect the visitors to put an important three points on the board.

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