RB Leipzig are aiming to continue their impressive form as they bid to extend their current unbeaten streak to 12 matches, and they will come up against a Hoffenheim side that have struggled in recent games.
|Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0
Leipzig will be hoping to collect back-to-back league victories on Sunday after they picked up a statement win away to Borussia Dortmund last weekend. A brace for Konrad Laimer and a goal apiece for Christopher Nkunku and Dani Olmo saw Die Rotten Bullen cruise to a 4-1 win over the second-placed side.
They followed that result with a 1-1 draw against Atalanta in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final contest. Domenico Tedesco's side will travel to Bergamo for the second leg on Thursday, but before they can prepare for that match, they must negotiate a tricky contest against Hoffenheim.
Despite holding the best goalscoring and defensive records of any Bundesliga team in 2022, fourth-placed Leipzig remain just three points clear of Freiburg, highlighting that Champions League qualification is far from secure.
Although having won nine of their 14 home league matches this season, the hosts will be confident that they can add three more points to their tally on Sunday.
Tedesco has indicated that Tyler Adams and Yussuf Poulsen are both available following their respective injury issues, leaving Amadou Haidara as Leipzig's only known injury absentee.
Hoffenheim's push for a top-four place has faltered in the last few weeks, as they enter Sunday's contest without a win in their last three matches. To make matters worse, their previous two encounters have both ended in defeat, with Hertha BSC easing to a 3-0 win before Bochum edged out Hoffenheim last weekend.
Die Kraichgauer now sit four points adrift of their opponents who occupy the fourth and final Champions League place, but while they are dreaming of qualifying for Europe's elite competition, Hoffenheim must remain mindful of those chasing from behind. After winning 4-1 against their local rivals on Saturday, Union Berlin are level on points with the sixth-placed side, while FC Köln are just a point behind.
As Sebastian Hoeneß looks to help his side return to winning ways, he will be reminding his players of the 2-0 win they picked up over Leipzig in the reverse fixture, although the Hoffenheim head coach will be fully aware that they will face a much stiffer test on Sunday.
Hoffenheim's task has not been made easier by the fact that they are missing a number of key players. Kevin Akpoguma, David Raum, and Kevin Vogt are all suspended for the game due to an accumulation of yellow cards, while Hoeneß informed his pre-match press conference that Florian Grillitsch will miss out after picking up a muscle injury in training. Benjamin Hübner and Marco John are also unavailable due to back and shoulder injuries respectively.