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Sep 25, 2021 at 2.30pm UK
Kramaric (45+2'), Baumgartner (74'), Kaderabek (81')
Kaderabek (50'), Grillitsch (78')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Baku (25')
Arnold (78'), Roussillon (80')

Preview: Hoffenheim vs. Wolfsburg - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Hoffenheim vs. Wolfsburg - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Hoffenheim and Wolfsburg, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Second-placed Wolfsburg head to Hoffenheim's PreZero Arena in Bundesliga action on Saturday, looking to continue their strong start to the new season.

Meanwhile, the hosts find themselves in mid-table after failing to win since the opening weekend of league action.

Match preview

The 4-0 hammering of Augsburg in the opening match appears to be a distant memory for Hoffenheim and manager Sebastian Hoeness.

Other than a trip to title-challengers Borussia Dortmund, Die Kraichgauer have had three other encounters since that they will have considered 'winnable', but have only managed two points since.

After a disappointing 11th-place finish in 2020-21, the European hopefuls may have missed an early opportunity to cement a place in the top seven in the early stages of this campaign.

The latest of those disappointing results came at Arminia Bielefeld last weekend, where Hoffenheim were held to a goalless draw against a side expected to struggle at the wrong end of the table.

That result also means it is back-to-back games without scoring a goal, despite the calibre of opponents, and despite managing to score eight in the opening three matches.

Hoeness' side will now look ahead to the weekend with few positives to hold onto, and to an opponent that they have beaten just once in their last six meetings, although this did arrive the last time they met back in March.

As for the visitors, a quick glance at Wolfsburg would make it easy to assume that everything is positive at the second-placed side.

However, despite the results, performances will be of a concern to new manager Mark van Bommel, with the scores tending to flatter his side in the early stages of the new campaign so far.

Wolfsburg have made each of their matches tight affairs and have created a lot more work for themselves than they will have desired.

This being despite three of their four wins arriving against sides either recently promoted to the Bundesliga, or expected to struggle towards the bottom of the table.

After winning the opening four, Wolfsburg's winning run came to an end when they hosted fellow European-hopefuls Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend in a 1-1 draw.

The pattern of play was improved from their point of view in this one, though, with the Wolves dominating the play and creating far more chances than their opponents going forward.

Unfortunately for them, it remained tight once they conceded in the first half, and top goalscorer Wout Weghorst came to the rescue with the equaliser in the second half.

Hoffenheim Bundesliga form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D

Hoffenheim form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D

Wolfsburg Bundesliga form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D

Wolfsburg form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D

Team News

Hoffenheim continue to be without defensive trio Ermin Bicakcic, Benjamin Hubner and Havard Nordtveit when they host Wolfsburg on Saturday. The trio are all yet to feature so far this campaign.

Sebastian Rudy remains a doubt after missing the trip to Bielefeld due to a back problem, so Florian Grillitsch should continue to deputise in his absence in the centre of midfield.

Meanwhile, Wolfsburg remain without a quartet of long-term absentees for the trip to Hoffenheim.

Paulo Otavio, William, Xaver Schlager and Bartosz Bialek are all still missing for Van Bommel.

To add to his concerns, summer recruit Dodi Lukebakio is struggling with a hip problem as well, so Ridle Baku and Lukas Nmecha will battle for the opening on the wing should he miss out.

Hoffenheim possible starting lineup:
Baumann; Kaderabek, Richards, Vogt, Raum; Samassekou, Grillitsch; Baumgartner, Kramaric, Bruun Larsen; Bebou

Wolfsburg possible starting lineup:
Casteels; Mbabu, Lacroix, Bornauw, Roussillon; Guilavogui, Arnold; L Nmecha, Waldschmidt, Steffen; Weghorst

We say: Hoffenheim 1-1 Wolfsburg

With Hoffenheim's last couple of matches being tight affairs, and all of Wolfsburg's being that case this season so far, another is expected here. Neither look like they have the ability to score a number of goals just yet so a low-scoring draw is our prediction here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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18Greuther Furth7016519-141
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