In their match against Hoffenheim on Saturday, 12th March, Bayern Munich will be trying to extend their lead at the top of the Bundesliga table at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena.
When it comes to the hosts, they have won four straight games as they look to make a surprising return to the Champions League, while the visitors quietened some of their sceptics in Europe by winning 4-0 on the road in midweek.
Having won a hard-fought match against fellow top-four contenders FC Koln last weekend, Hoffenheim improved their hopes of returning to Europe’s premier stage.
The RheinEnergieStadion is one of the most difficult stadiums to visit in Germany, but despite wasting a slew of golden chances, Sebastian Hoeness’ team walked away with all three points courtesy to Stefan Posch’s goal shortly after the hour mark in the second half of the match.
It has already been stated that the stunning victory extended Hoffenheim’s winning run in the Bundesliga to four games and propelled Die Kraichgauer into fourth place in the standings.
Hoffenheim currently sits in fourth place in the Bundesliga, two points ahead of RB Leipzig and Freiburg, who drew their meeting last week. However, with the league leaders coming to town this weekend, Hoeness’ side could find themselves back outside the top four by the end of the weekend, according to the league’s official website.
The PreZero Arena in Hoffenheim, despite Bayern Munich’s decade-long dominance in German football’s first division, is one of the few venues where the club’s record isn’t nearly as impressive.
The hosts have won three of the last five matches played on their home soil, including a convincing 4-1 victory during the 2020-21 season.
The home team will be full of confidence heading into Saturday’s game, and a fifth consecutive victory would go a long way towards clinching a place in the Champions League, assuming they manage to pull off another shock against the champions.
For their part, Bayern would have arrived at the PreZero Arena on the back of their most doubtful run of form all season had it not been for Red Bull Salzburg’s visit to the PreZero Arena on Tuesday.
Indeed, the Bavarians had only lost once in their previous five games, which is hardly a disaster, but when you consider the high standards that have been set at the Allianz Arena over the course of nine consecutive title victories, the drop in performance levels and results has been noticeable.
A shocking 4-2 loss to newly-promoted VfL Bochum was the most astonishing outcome of Bayern’s Bundesliga campaign thus far, and after stumbling to a 1-1 draw against Salzburg courtesy to Kingsley Coman’s late equaliser a few days later, questions started to be raised about the team’s complacency.
Both victories against Greuther Furth and Eintracht Frankfurt were far from convincing, and Julian Nagelsmann’s league leaders were a long way away from their typical high level of play after suffering back-to-back defeats.
Bayern was held to a 1-1 draw at home against Bayer Leverkusen last weekend, and with Borussia Dortmund’s match against Mainz 05 being postponed, they were denied the opportunity to expand their advantage at the top of the table to 11 points.
The visitors, on the other hand, have a nine-point lead in their chase of a tenth consecutive Bundesliga crown, but with BVB still holding a game in hand, the fight for the championship remains a two-horse race for the time being.
It is precisely when doubts begin to arise around the German champions that their real genius is shown, and that is exactly what was on display for the sceptics to behold on Tuesday as Bayern welcomed Salzburg to the Allianz Arena in Munich.
After a 7-1 thrashing, primarily as a result of a Robert Lewandowski hat-trick in the first 23 minutes, the doubts were put to rest for the time being, but the Bavarians will be keen to follow that up with another emphatic victory at a difficult site on Saturday.
HOF vs FCB Bundesliga 2021/22
Date: 12th March 2022
Time: 8:00 PM IST
Venue: Rhein-Neckar Arena
Hoffenheim Bundesliga form:
Bayern Munich Bundesliga form:
Bayern Munich form (all competitions):
Hoffenheim wins: 4
Bayern Munich wins: 19
Hoffenheim News: As a result of a knee injury, Ermin Biaksi will be unable to participate for the hosts, who also will be without Havard Nordtveit and Robert Skov, who are all dealing with thigh issues.
Sebastian Rudy is sidelined with a hamstring injury. In addition, head coach Sebastian Hoeness revealed that Chris Richards, Fisnik Asllani, and Benjamin Hubner would all be missing from the squad.
Bayern Munich News: With Alphonso Davies out with myocarditis and not expected back until April, the Bavarians will have to make do without him. While Leon Goretzka is also unavailable due to a knee ailment, the availability of Corentin Tolisso is in question due to a hamstring problem.
Oliver Baumann; Stefan Posch, Florian Grillitsch, Kevin Vogt; Pavel Kaderabek, Diadie Samassekou, Angelo Stiller, David Raum; Christoph Baumgartner; Ihlas Bebou, Andrej Kramaric.
Bayern Munich (3-2-4-1):
Manuel Neuer; Benjamin Pavard, Niklas Süle, Lucas Hernandez, Joshua Kimmich, Jamal Musiala; Serge Gnabry, Thomas Müller, Leroy Sane, Kingsley Coman; Robert Lewandowski.
The mood in the Hoffenheim camp is buoyant, as the team is riding a four-game winning streak in the Bundesliga at the moment.
The Bundesliga leaders, on the other hand, put their problems in the league behind them with an uplifting 7-1 thrashing of Salzburg in Europe on Wednesday.
Despite the fact that it will be a difficult and intriguing game, we expect a high-scoring draw.
Score Prediction- HOF 1-3 FCB
HOF vs FCB Fantasy XI No. 1
Neuer; Pavard, Hernandez, Posch; Kimmich, Stiller, Raum, Muller, Sane; Lewandowski, Kramaric
HOF vs FCB Fantasy XI No. 2
Neuer; Pavard, Hernandez, Vogt; Kimmich, Stiller, Raum, Gnabry, Coman; Lewandowski, Kramaric