Borussia Dortmund will be looking to leapfrog TSG 1899 Hoffenheim into the top three of the Bundesliga when they clash on Saturday afternoon.
Date: 6 May 2017
Match Day 32
Kick-off: 15H30 (GMT+2)
Referee: F. Brych
Assistants: M. Borsch, S. Lupp
Fourth official: F. Willenborg
TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS
Dortmund 19 8 7 4
Hoffenheim 19 4 7 8
Hoffenheim 2-2 Dortmund 16/12/16 (Bundesliga)
Hoffenheim goalscorers: M. Uth (3′), S. Wagner (20′)
Dortmund goalscorers: M. Götze (11′), P. Aubameyang (48′)
Players to watch:
The hosts may look to rising star Ousmane Dembélé to provide the inspiration up front. The 19-year-old winger has assisted in a staggering 20 goals across all competitions this season.
Hoffenheim’s striker-pairing of Andrej Kramaric and Sandro Wagner has been incredibly successful this season. The duo have bagged a combined 27 goals across all competitions, while adding 11 assists.
— TSG Hoffenheim EN (@achtzehn99_en) May 5, 2017
Team form and manager quotes:
The BVB find themselves in fourth position in the standings with three games left to play, but only trail third-placed Hoffenheim by a single point, which means a win would lift them to third, and into an automatic Champions League spot instead of a play-off tie.
Thomas Tuchel’s charges are unbeaten in their last three games in all competitions, beating Borussia M’gladbach and famously knocking Bayern München out of the DFB Pokal, before a disappointing goalless draw at home against Cologne.
Speaking after the semi-final win over the Bavarians, Tuchel told a press conference: “Now we have to focus on the league and put the cup final aside. It’s really nice that the 34th matchday [in the Bundesliga] is not the last game of the season.
“We need mental readiness. We can nurse our wounds afterwards.”
— Florian Groeger (@RN_Florian) May 4, 2017
Meanwhile, Hoffenheim are also unbeaten in their last three outings, claiming two wins and a draw. Their most recent game saw them edge out Eintracht Frankfurt 1-0 at home.
With three games left in the season, the visitors still have a chance at finishing runners-up to champions Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, as they trail second-placed RB Leipzig by five points.
Manager Julian Nagelsmann is, however, more concerned with retaining third position ahead of Dortmund.
He told the press, according to ESPN: “The pressure on Dortmund is brutal. They must finish third. We don’t have to, we just want to.”
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) May 4, 2017
Dortmund are still without a number of players, including the latest casualty centre-back Sokratis, who picked up a knock at the weekend. Nuri Sahin also remains sidelined with a ruptured ankle ligament.
Hoffenheim should have a fully fit squad from which to pick their starting 11, barring any late injury troubles.
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