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Opposition Analysis: TSG Hoffenheim vs RB Leipzig

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After qualifying for the Champions League round of 16, the week couldn’t have got off to a better start for the Red Bulls! This coming Saturday in the Bundesliga, the Red Bulls want to follow up on their convincing 4-0 away win over Shakhtar Donetsk. Leipzig will look to claim their first away win of the season against TSG Hoffenheim (kick off: 15:30 CET).

The squad’s confidence is definitely growing. Since the middle of September, our boys have won a whopping eight of their ten competitive games, with two matches ending in a draw. Any defeats? No chance!

Ahead of the clash between the two sides who happen to be neighbours in the table, we analyse TSG Hoffenheim in the German Values Opponent Check.
 

Form

With 18 points, TSG currently lie just one point behind RB Leipzig in the league table. It was a successful start to the season for Hoffenheim who won four of their first six games. Since the middle of September, they have exchanged their good performances with rather average results. They have only won one of their last six games. André Breitenreiter’s side beat Schalke 3-0 on matchday 10. Last time out, Hoffenheim played out a 1-1 draw with FC Köln. At home inside the PreZero Arena, they recently suffered two defeats. Their last home victory came on the 10th September (4-1 win over Mainz).  

Even though our upcoming opponents have often put on spectacles and bagged plenty of goals in recent years, that identity has somewhat shifted this season. Hoffenheim are not scoring as many goals, but represent a much more stable and defensive brand of football. Having only conceded 13 goals in their 12 games so far this season, they have the third best defence, behind only Union Berlin (9) and Bayern München (10). The squad has dominated the air – in contrast to other sides, TSG is yet to concede a single headed goal all season. Their 25 yellow cards, already this season, proves that the Kraichgauer aren’t afraid to get stuck into a challenge.

Squad

Transfers 

From a sporting point of view, the departure of left-back David Raum was very painful. The Germanyinternational and high-flyer from last season decided to make the switch to Leipzig. Angelino, who plied his trade for Leipzig between 2019 and 2022, has been on loan since the summer to replace him. Also, long-time regular Florian Grillitsch left for Ajax in the summer for personal reasons. Fellow offensive player Diadie Samassékou was loaned out to Olympiakos just a few weeks ago, whilst defender Stefan Posch joined Serie A side Bologna.

New to the squad is defender and former Schalke player Ozan Kabak (most recently on loan at Norwich City), who Hoffenheim paid five million Euros for. The most expensive transfer, however, was Stanley Nsoki (Club Brugge). TSG paid twelve million Euros for the Frenchman, who has found his place in the back three. Sporting director Alexander Rosen bagged Hoffenheim a really coup in Grischa Prömel (midfielder from Union Berlin). The 27-year-old had been a key piece for the Eisernen over the last few years and came across to Hoffenheim on a free transfer.

Key Players

Shot-stopper Oliver Baumann has long been one of the most consistent and best keepers in Germany. Kevin Vogt is one of the complete leaders at the back of the defence. However, the centre-back could be unavailable for the weekend due to calf problems. Team captain Benjamin Hübner is also out due to injury, as is the aforementioned Kabak due to his suspension. The Turkish international hit the ground running for the Kreichgauer and has been one of the league’s best defenders since arriving at Hoffenheim. Last game, the 22-year-old got sent off against Köln.

The squad has lots of quality up front, although current top scorer Munas Dabbur (four goals) won’t play due to a shoulder injury. Midfield ace Christoph Baumgartner can play across any position in the attacking line and is an integral part of the starting line up. Sebastian Rudy and Dennis Geiger are the other members of that compact midfield trio. Croat Andrej Kramarić (three goals, two assists) continues to be one of the best players in the league and is always posing a threat due to histechnique and versatility. With young and highly-rated striker Georginio Rutter and right-winger Robert Skov, the seventh-placed side have plenty of other fast players with the ability to overwhelm defences.

Head coach

Since this summer, former player André Breitenreiter has been in charge along the Hoffenheim sideline. Born in Langenhagen, Breitenreiter laced up his boots as a striker for Hamburg SV, SpVgg Unterhaching and VfL Wolfsburg, among other sides, during his playing days. The former striker scored 28 goals across 144 appearances in the Bundesliga.

The 49-year-old started his coaching career at TSV Havelse in the Regionalliga North at the beginning of 2011. Two years later, he led SC Paderborn into the top flight for the first time in the club’s history. In 2015, Breitenreiter coached Schalke 04 to fifth place and into the Europa League group stages. Two years after that, he led another side to the Bundesliga, this time Hannover 96. In the summer of 2021, the head coach took over FC Zurich in Switzerland and was celebrating outstanding levels of success not long after: at the end of the season, he celebrated his first career league title. Hoffenheim’s interest was piqued and brought the coach back into German football. The tactician is known as an excellent communicator and prefers to play a formation of 3-4-1-2.

Head-to-Head Record

The Red Bulls and Hoffenheim have faced off against each other 13 times. The record is a very positive one for Marco Rose’s side, with seven wins compared to only three defeats. Most recently, on matchday 29 of last season, RBL won 3-0 at the Red Bull Arena. Goals from Christopher Nkunku, Marcel Halstenberg and Dominik Szoboszlai had secured the game before half time. In the first match between the two sides that season, Hoffenheim came out on top with a 2-0 win at home.

Remarkably, in the last five games between the two sides, only one of the teams has scored a goal in the game. Incidentally, both clubs will meet again on 1 February 2023 in the last 16 of the DFB Pokal.

 

Last five matches

  • 10th April 2022 | Bundesliga Matchday 29: RB Leipzig 3 – 0 TSG Hoffenheim
  • 20th November 2021 | Bundesliga Matchday 12: TSG Hoffenheim 2 – 0 RB Leipzig
  • 16th April 2021 | Bundesliga Matchday 29: RB Leipzig 0 – 0 TSG Hoffenheim
  • 16th December 2020 | Bundesliga Matchday 12: TSG Hoffenheim 0 – 1 RB Leipzig
  • 12th June 2020 | Bundesliga Matchday 31: TSG Hoffenheim 0 – 2 RB Leipzig

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Opposition Analysis: TSG Hoffenheim vs RB Leipzig

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