Both teams are better going forward than they are defensively, which points to an entertaining encounter at Signal Iduna Park.
Back over 3.5 goals (+108)
Pick made on 08/30/2022 at 07:21 AM EST
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After they somehow contrived to turn 2-0 lead in the 89th minute into a 3-2 defeat by Werder Bremen on matchday three, Borussia Dortmund were hoping for an uneventful match at Hertha Berlin last weekend. Thankfully for Edin Terzic, that is exactly what they got. Anthony Modeste notched the only goal of the game shortly after the half-hour mark, with the Frenchman on target for the first time since his move from Koln. Dortmund’s performance at the Olympiastadion is not going to win any end-of-season awards, but they got the job done.
The club’s decision to sack Marco Rose and hire Terzic over the summer was a tacit admission that they had made a mistake 12 months previously. Terzic had just steered Dortmund to a top-four finish after being handed the managerial reins on an interim basis ahead of the winter break in 2020/21. Seven straight wins at the end of the campaign strengthened Terzic’s case to be the next full-time boss at Signal Iduna Park.
The powers that be at Dortmund considered him, before in the end opting for the more experienced Rose. But after just one season at the helm, BVB got rid of the former Borussia Monchengladbach head coach and turned back to Terzic. The objective for the 39-year-old this season is to try and close the gap to Bayern Munich (BVB were eight points off the pace in last term’s title ‘race’) and reach the last eight of the Champions League.
Terzic will also be aiming to turn Dortmund’s perennial chaos into something much calmer. Two 1-0 wins over Bayer Leverkusen and Hertha Berlin, together with a 3-1 victory over Freiburg, suggest that might not be impossible, provided the Werder debacle proves to be a one-off. The jury is still out in that regard; tumult and turbulence seems to be part of Dortmund’s DNA.
Hoffenheim is a club from a village that has a population of around 75,000. It is certainly not the typical place to host a Bundesliga side, but that is what Hoffenheim have been for some time now. Bankrolled by a billionaire businessman by the name of Dietmar Hopp, the team ascended to the top flight in 2008 and has remained there ever since.
They have even qualified for the Champions League, participating in the tournament under the management of current Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann in 2018/19. Returning to continental competition is the aim this term, although the Europa League or Europa Conference League are more realistic targets than the Champions League.
It is a source of disappointment for Hoffenheim that they are not in Europe this season. If we judge them on their squad rather than the size of the club, they probably should be. Fourth in the standings last March, Hoffenheim plummeted down the table after ending the season with a nine-game winless streak, culminating in a 5-1 thrashing by Borussia Monchengladbach on the final weekend.
Sebastian Hoeness was fired after that dismal finish to 2021/22, with Andre Breitenreiter now at the helm. Hoffenheim have started well under his leadership, losing 3-1 to Gladbach on matchday one but then registering victories over Bochum, Bayer Leverkusen and Augsburg.
Only Bayern Munich, Union Berlin and Werder Bremen have scored more goals than Hoffenheim in the first four matches of the new season. Dortmund, for their part, are just one behind their upcoming opponents so far. That hints at an entertaining encounter on Friday, as do a few other factors.
One is Hoffenheim’s probable fearlessness. Had Breitenreiter’s charges made a poor start to the campaign, there would be a temptation to hunker down, defend deep and try to escape with a point. But Hoffenheim will have grown in confidence and belief on the back of three straight victories, and they will see this as something of a free hit given all the pressure and expectation is on Dortmund.
As for BVB, that 1-0 win against Hertha was not a true reflection of the match. Terzic’s side created enough chances to have scored three or four times, and there are signs that the team is starting to come together in an attacking sense after the sale of Erling Haaland.
With all of the above in mind, we would recommend tipping over 3.5 goals for Borussia Dortmund vs Hoffenheim in the opening fixture of matchday five in the 2022/23 Bundesliga season.
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|Teams||Borussia Dortmund vs Hoffenheim|
|Location||Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany|
|Time||Friday, 2 September 2022, 2.30 PM EST|
|How to watch||ESPN+|
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Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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