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  • Anticipation Peaks: A Sneak Peek into the Hoffenheim vs. Borussia Monchengladbach Showdown
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  • 29 November 2023

Anticipation Peaks: A Sneak Peek into the Hoffenheim vs. Borussia Monchengladbach Showdown

When Hoffenheim hosts Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday in the Bundesliga league, they want to snap a seven-game losing streak. On the other hand, Gladbach will be looking to break their losing skid this weekend after returning from the World Cup with two straight losses.

Match preview

Andre Breitenreiter arrived at Hoffenheim from FC Zurich last summer, and he must have had high expectations for his debut season in command after the team won four of his first six league games in charge.

Die Kraichgauer has dropped to 13th place in the standings and, more concerningly, is just three points clear of the relegation zone after only one victory in the last 11 games, which came against Schalke 04, the team at the bottom of the league, in mid-October.

With their star player Andrej Kramaric saving a point for them against Stuttgart in the middle of the week, Hoffenheim should have much too much individual quality to be concerned about finishing in the bottom three.

The visitors scored twice before halftime to shift the tide of the encounter, but Breitenreiter's team took advantage of Naouirou Ahamada's late expulsion to prevent a sixth straight league loss. The Croatian attacker had opened the scoring after 11 minutes.

Although Breitenreiter's brilliant performance in leading Zurich to victory in the Swiss Super League last season shows that Hoffenheim has a talented manager at their disposal, the 49-year-old will know that he needs to win quickly to prevent unmanageable pressure from mounting on his shoulders.

Since playing again following the World Cup, the visitors have had a dismal two games as Daniel Farke's team has been defeated by Augsburg and Bayer Leverkusen.

While struggling Augsburg defeated Gladbach 3–0 at home against Leverkusen on Wednesday night, a late brace from Lars Stindl offered Gladbach some optimism. Mergim Berisha's 82nd-minute winner earned struggling Augsburg all three points.

Naturally, Die Fohlen's illustrious goalie Yann Sommer left for Bayern Munich earlier this month, and his countryman Jonas Omlin joined from Montpellier to take his place. With such large gloves to fill, the 29-year-old will be eager to get a clean sheet as soon as possible.

Even though Gladbach has had a solid start to the season under Farke since the former Norwich City manager was hired last summer, they will likely have a difficult time qualifying for Europe given that teams like Eintracht Frankfurt, Borussia Dortmund, and Freiburg are all nine points ahead of them in the standings.

Because of this, the 46-year-old could be focused on finishing in the top half of the standings at the end of his debut campaign. They will probably need to beat Hoffenheim this weekend to maintain their position in the short term.

Team News

Kevin Akpoguma, who picked up his fifth booking of the year when substituting against Stuttgart, will be sidelined for Hoffenheim. With just 28 minutes played, the defender had replaced Robert Skov because of a calf injury that would keep the Denmark international out for several weeks.

Ermin Bicakcic will likely start at center-back, while Pavel Kaderabek may move up the field to a right-wing-back position. However, Breitenreier is unlikely to be able to use Ozan Kabak (foot), Jacob Bruun Larsen (groin), Grischa Promel (ankle), or Dennis Geiger (knock)

Borges Sanches is still out with a tendon injury, but Gladbach was able to go without Jonas Hofmann and Christoph Kramer because of sickness and concussions, respectively.

If his compatriot is ruled out as predicted after being substituted at halftime away to Augsburg last time out, Stindl will likely replace Kramer. Stindl scored a brace against Leverkusen in his previous outing before getting a ban for his fifth booking of the season.

Potential starting lineup for Hoffenheim:

Baumann; Kaderabek, Rudy, Bischof, Angelino; Baumgartner, Kramaric; Bebou; Bicakcic, Vogt, Nsoki

Potential starting lineup for Borussia Monchengladbach:

Thuram; Ngoumou, Stindl, Plea; Weigl, Kone; Omlin; Lainer, Itakura, Elvedi, Bensebaini

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