Borussia Dortmund will be hoping to keep ground at the top of the Bundesliga when they travel to Hoffenheim on Saturday at 2:30pm.
Hoffenheim XI: Baumann; Akpoguma, Vogt, Posch; Rudy; Gacinovic, Samassekou, Geiger, Skov; Bebou, Belfodil
Dortmund XI: Hitz; Piszczek, Hummels, Can; Meunier, Dahoud, Witsel, Passlack; Sancho, Brandt, Reyna.
Where to watch Hoffenheim vs Dortmund on TV:
- UK: BT Sport 3
- US: ESPN+
Where to live stream Hoffenheim vs Dortmund:
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Hoffenheim vs Dortmund build-up, pre-match team news & previous line-ups:
Lucien Favre’s men have experienced a mixed start to the new campaign, winning two and losing one of their opening three games so far. After starting the campaign with a statement 3-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach, Dortmund were brought back down to earth by Augsburg, who beat Favre’s side 2-0. They did, however, return to winning ways before the international break, beating Freiburg 4-0.
But they face tough opposition in Hoffenheim this weekend, with Sebastian Hoeness’ side only behind Dortmund on goal difference. Despite their defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt prior to the break, Hoffenheim will be feeling positive about their start to 2020/21 having following up a tight 3-2 win over Koln on the opening weekend by beating defending champions Bayern Munich 4-1.
And Hoffenheim have a good recent record in this fixture. After going nine Bundesliga games without a win against Dortmund, Hoffenheim are unbeaten in their past five including doing the double over Favre’s side last season, one of just two teams to achieve that alongside Bayern.
- Hoffenheim (vs Eintracht Frankfurt): Baumann; Vogt, Akpoguma, Posch; Grillitsch; Kaderabek, Baumgartner, Geiger, Skov; Dabbur, Kramaric.
- Dortmund (vs Freiburg): Hitz; Can, Akanji, Hummels; Meunier, Bellingham, Witsel, Guerreiro; Reus, Reyna; Haaland.
Hoffenheim have returned from the international break without any fresh injury concerns, but they remain without Kostas Stafylidis and Ermin Bicakcic, while captain Benjamin Hubner is a doubt.
Dortmund will be without Manuel Akanji, who joins Marcel Schmelzer, Dan-Axel Zagadou and Thorgan Hazard on the sidelines. However, Favre should be able to call upon Jadon Sancho and Roman Burki, both of whom missed Dortmund’s recent matches due to illness.
Players to watch:
Hoffenheim: Andrej Kramaric. When these sides met on the final day of the 2019/20 season, Hoffenheim put Dortmund to the sword, winning 4-0, with Kramaric scoring all four of the goals. It took his tally for the campaign to 12 in 19 games having started the season out injured and suffering another setback midway through the campaign. But the Croatian has had no such problems so far this season and Hoffenheim have been reaping the rewards. After three games, Kramaric is the Bundesliga’s top scorer, with six goals so far. He started the campaign with a hat-trick against Koln, two against Bayern and one in the defeat to Frankfurt. Of Hoffenheim’s eight goals so far, Kramaric has only been uninvolved in two. Carrying over his form from last season too, the 29-year-old has scored 11 goals in his past five Bundesliga matches, and will be confident of continuing that run this weekend.
Dortmund: Erling Haaland. From one exciting goalscorer to another, Haaland has very much been Dortmund’s star this season, continuing his excellent start to life in Germany. Since joining from Red Bull Salzburg, the Norway international has scored 21 goals in 23 games. Of those 21 goals, four have come in this season’s Bundesliga, in Dortmund’s two wins over Borussia Monchengladbach and Freiburg. In fact, when he failed to score against Augsburg, so did Dortmund, as the Fuggerstadter dealt perfectly with their attack. Haaland also took his form into the international break for Norway, scoring a hat-trick in the 4-0 Nations League win over Romania. Hoffenheim will have to stop Haaland to have any chance of winning.