Hoffenheim vs RB Leipzig - Predictions, Odds & Live Stream
- Leipzig is still not assured of a Champions League place despite unbeaten run
- Julian Nagelsmann’s side has drawn too many games since the turn of the year
- The scores could once again finish level when Leipzig travels to Hoffenheim on Friday
|What||Hoffenheim vs RB Leipzig|
|Where||PreZero Arena, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany|
|When||Friday, 12 June 2020, 2:30 PM EST|
|How to watch||Stream Live with DraftKings!|
|Best Betting Bonus||$1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings (NJ, PA, WV, IN, IA only)|
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No official statement has been made yet, but Timo Werner’s future was decided in the last few days. Long linked with Bayern Munich and Liverpool, the RB Leipzig striker will instead be joining Chelsea this summer.
That came as a surprise, but only in terms of the destination. It has long been clear that Werner would seek pastures new at the end of the 2019/20 campaign, even after he signed a new contract last year. That deal raised his buyout clause, albeit not to a level that made him unobtainable to other European clubs. At $64m, Chelsea will feel it has got itself a bargain.
At one stage, Werner looked as if he might sign off his Leipzig career with a momentous first league title in the club’s history. For all the money that has been poured into the club by drinks manufacturer Red Bull, that would have been an incredible achievement. Leipzig was only formed in 2009 and won its first promotion to the Bundesliga just four years ago.
But Leipzig has faltered in recent months. Top of the league in late January, a 2-0 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt kick-started a run that has seen Julian Nagelsmann’s men win just four of its last 12 encounters. Curiously, each of those four victories came via an emphatic scoreline – two 5-0s, a 3-0 and a 4-2 – but Leipzig now faces a battle to even qualify for the Champions League.
Hoffenheim vs RB Leipzig Odds
Odds taken from BetMGM.
Soccer statistics are open to manipulation, as demonstrated by Leipzig’s form since the start of February. While it is indisputably true that the East German outfit has only won four games in that stretch, it is also the case that Leipzig is on an 11-match unbeaten run.
Some clubs would be pleased with such a sequence, but not a Leipzig side that was targeting a title challenge this term. Seven of those 11 matches have ended with the scores level, meaning Nagelsmann’s side has dropped 14 valuable points since matchday 19.
Hoffenheim is ordinarily better away from home than at its own stadium, but the absence of supporters has flipped the entire home-and-away concept on its head. With just one defeat in six, Nagelsmann’s former club will fancy its chances of taking a point from this game.
Nagelsmann Left to Rue Dropped Points Amid Failed Title Tilt
Those 14 dropped points have proved fatal to Leipzig’s chances of a sustained push for the championship crown. The club dropped to fourth place after a 1-1 draw with Freiburg in its first game back from the three-month pause, and although it has now climbed back into third, a slender three-point gap is all that separates Leipzig from Bayer Leverkusen in fifth.
To be clear, Leipzig should receive no criticism for failing to finish on top of the pile this season. Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are still far ahead of the upstarts from the east in terms of status, revenue and squad depth. Leipzig will eventually want to compete at the very top of the division, but there was no expectation for Nagelsmann to win the league in his first campaign at the helm.
That said, it would be a major disappointment were Leipzig to miss out on the top four. Matching last season’s third-place finish was probably the minimum requirement going into 2019/20, and Leipzig still has plenty of work to do to fulfill that objective.
Hoffenheim Continues to Put Pressure on Wolfsburg in Europa League Race
Hoffenheim has its own race on its hands. Seventh place, which it currently occupies, may ultimately bring with it a Europa League spot, depending on the outcome of the DFB-Pokal.
However, at the time of writing Hoffenheim is two points behind Wolfsburg in the final guaranteed qualification place. The team looks to have turned a corner under Alfred Schreuder: having been horrendously out of form before the season was put on hold, Hoffenheim has now lost only one of its last six games. That bodes well ahead of a contest against Leipzig, which remains one of the Bundesliga’s toughest nuts to crack despite its recent downturn.
Leipzig’s Struggles to Turn Draws into Wins Could Strike Again Here
Leipzig has made a slow start in many of the games it has drawn recently. It conceded the first goal against Borussia Monchengladbach, Bayer Leverkusen, Freiburg, and Hertha Berlin before clawing its way back into each of those games.
At its best, Leipzig is a high-energy, heavy-pressing team that disrupts the rhythm of its opponent’s game. When things go well, Leipzig can blow other sides away – as demonstrated in those 5-0 thrashings of Schalke and Mainz, matches in which Nagelsmann’s charges took the lead within the first 11 minutes.
But if Leipzig fails to score the first goal early on, it often struggles to break opponents down. Hoffenheim will be fully aware of that deficiency heading into Friday’s clash.
Leipzig has drawn more games than it has won and lost of late. Back another stalemate against Hoffenheim on Friday.