Leverkusen haven’t lost a competitive match since May and are going for their 10th straight win against an improved Hoffenheim side in Sinsheim on Saturday.
|Photo: Bayer 04 Leverkusen|
Hoffenheim have been up and down over the last month, as they still haven’t drawn a game in league play. They did narrowly bow out of the DFB-Pokal to Dortmund this week due to a lack of opportunities in front of goal.
At 6th in the table, fans can’t be upset with this start as the former company club try and get back to European ways. On Saturday, Maximilian Beier will of course be a focal point offensively, while Ozan Kabak could come back into the starting lineup for Kevin Akpoguma.
All signs point to veteran Andrej Kramaric making his return after a month-long absence because of a hamstring injury.
Pellegrino Matarazzo stated, “We want to keep it tight in the middle and be compact at the back. The aim is to make inroads and relieve pressure with periods of possession. Otherwise we will be crushed tomorrow.”
Pavel Kaderabek and Florian Grillitsch are out. Akpoguma is doubtful, while Robert Skov should play after an expected return to training on Friday. Kramaric and Stanley Nsoki will be back in the squad.
Leverkusen haven’t lost a match all season and have only drawn to Bayern Munich. The job Xabi Alonso has done is simply incredible and the transfers from Simon Rolfes over the summer were spot-on.
Eight regular starters were rested in their midweek win in the Pokal over Sandhausen, but most are expected to return to the starting lineup on Matchday 10. Victor Boniface, Jonas Hofmann, and Florian Wirtz should continue as the offensive trio who are all favorites for fantasy Bundesliga starts this week.
In his presser, Alonso said, “The season is a marathon. We want to take it game by game and continue to have good results. Hoffenheim are strong opponents and are having a good season. We’ll have a tough game tomorrow.”
Arthur and Patrik Schick are the only two absentees. Edmond Tapsoba will play despite a knock.