Hoffenheim’s quest for a Europa League spot continues this weekend when they welcome Hertha Berlin to the PreZero Arena.
Alfred Schreuder’s men currently sit in ninth but are just two points behind Schalke, who occupy the final Europa League spot with nine games to go, although Hoffenheim are winless in their past five league games.
Their opponents, Hertha Berlin, are enduring a tough season and will be looking nervously over their shoulders given that they are just six points ahead of the relegation play-off spot.
Read on for our Hoffenheim vs Hertha Berlin preview, team news, predictions and live stream information.
Hoffenheim vs Hertha Berlin: Key details, TV & live stream info
Venue: PreZero Arena
Date: Saturday, 16 May 2020
Kick-off: 2:30 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): BT Sport 3
Live stream options: Bet365* are streaming this match live for account holders. Those without a Bet365 account already who are interested in streaming Hoffenheim vs Hertha Berlin live can take advantage of this service by following the simple steps below.
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- Pick the desired event from among the ‘live now’ or ‘schedule’ sections in Bet365’s ‘live streaming’ category.
NB: To watch, customers must have a funded Sports account or have placed bet within last 24 hours. 18+ | T&C’s Apply | Gamble Responsibly | Geo restrictions apply. These odds and promotions are valid at the time of the writing of this article on Friday, May 15th at 16:00 GMT.
Last five meetings: Hoffenheim vs Hertha Berlin
26 October 2019: Hertha Berlin 2-3 Hoffenheim (Bundesliga)
14 April 2019: Hoffenheim 2-0 Hertha Berlin (Bundesliga)
24 November 2018: Hertha Berlin 3-3 Hoffenheim (Bundesliga)
03 February 2018: Hertha Berlin 1-1 Hoffenheim (Bundesliga)
17 September 2017: Hoffenheim 1-1 Hertha Berlin (Bundesliga)
Aggregate Score: Hoffenheim (WWDDD) 10-7 Hertha Berlin (LLDDD)
Ones to watch
Hoffenheim: Christoph Baumgartner
Hoffenheim have been going through a rough patch of late and will be hoping to turn things around against Hertha Berlin, but they are without their most potent attackers.
Of the four Hoffenheim players to have scored at least four Bundesliga goals this season, three are unavailable – Andrej Kramaric and Sargis Adamyan are both injured while Jurgen Locadia returned toparent club Brighton in January. That leaves Christoph Baumgartner to pick up the pieces this weekend.
The 20-year-old was initially a bit-part player at the start of the campaign but prior to the break, he had started to find form, scoring the second-half equaliser against Schalke last time out.
With Hoffenheim looking relatively thin up front, it appears their hopes against Hertha Berlin will rest on young Baumgartner’s shoulders.
Key stat: Only Andrej Kramaric (7) and Sargis Adamyan (5) have scored more Bundesliga goals for Hoffenheim than Christoph Baumgartner (4) this season.
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Hertha Berlin: Dodi Lukebakio
Like Hoffeinheim, Hertha Berlin haven’t been great in front of goal this season, with only the Bundesliga‘s bottom three scoring fewer goals than the capital club.
They tried to combat this with the signings of Matheus Cunha and Krzysztof Piatek in January but their biggest threat remains Dodi Lukebakio.
The Belgian has scored five goals and recorded five assists in the Bundesliga this season, despite seeing his playing time reduced with the club struggling first under Jurgen Klinsmann and then following Bruno Labbadia’s appointment. But whether he starts against Hoffenheim or has to make do with a substitute appearance, Lukebakio is Hertha Berlin’s best chance of a win.
Key stat: Dodi Lukebakio has been directly involved in 10 Bundesliga goals this season, more than any other Hertha Berlin player.
Schreuder remains without top scorer Kramaric with the former Leicester City man still undergoing rehabilitation following an ankle injury. Kramaric is joined on the sidelines by Adamyan and Ishak Belfodil, so Ihlas Bebou starts in attack alongside Baumgartner.
Confirmed XI: Baumann; Posch, Akpoguma, Hubner; Kaderabek, Grillitsch, Rudy, Zuber; Baumgartner, Bebou, Skov.
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Hertha Berlin are definitely without Vladimir Darida, who picked up his fifth yellow card of the season against Werder Bremen last time out. The Czech midfielder is likely to be replaced by Marko Grujic alongside Santiago Ascacibar.
Karim Rekik is also out with an injury, while Salomon Kalou is suspended having broken club rules.
Confirmed XI: Jarstein; Pekaruj, Boyata, Torunarigha, Plattenhardt; Grujic, Skjelbred; Lukebakio, Mittelstadt; Cunha, Ibisevic.
A potential lack of match fitness could play a big part in Saturday’s clash, but even before considering that, neither Hoffenheim or Hertha Berlin look like taking control of this game.
Both are in poor form, with Hertha Berlin fighting for their safety post-Jurgen Klinsmann and Hoffenheim falling down the table in their quest for Europa League football.
With everything considered, the two sides may be too close to separate.