Germany: Bundesliga
2 - 4
(2 - 1)
G. Rutter (22), C. Baumgartner (36)
P. Schick (34), M. Diaby (73), P. Schick (76), L. Alario (90)
By Ben Sully@SullyBen

Hoffenheim vs Bayer Leverkusen preview: Die Werkself looking for a third consecutive victory

Bayer Leverkusen will seal a Champions League place if they can beat Hoffenheim on Saturday.


Although seventh position looks set to become a European place, eighth-placed Hoffenheim are likely to miss out on European football.

They enter the weekend five points adrift of Union Berlin, and with just two matches left to play, closing that gap looks to be a near-impossible task.

Despite spending most of the season in the hunt for a European qualification spot, a seven-game winless run has seen Die Kraichgauer drop away from contention.

Sebastian Hoeneß would have felt that last weekend's contest with Freiburg was a must-win, but despite leading 2-1 at one point in the encounter, Hoffenheim ultimately fell to a 4-3 defeat.

At the very least, the hosts will be aiming to end the season with a couple of positive results, but hopes of a victory on Saturday may be slim as they have not won any of their last four home matches.

However, they can at least take confidence from the fact that they have scored in 14 of their 16 home league games, while they are also unbeaten in their last three home meetings with Leverkusen.
Team News

Chris Richards will miss out due to a thigh problem, while Marco John and Håvard Nordtveit are also sidelined for the hosts.

Bayer Leverkusen

Consecutive victories have got Leverkusen's top-four push back on track. A 4-1 victory over Greuther Fürth was followed by a 2-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in Leverkusen's most recent fixture.

A first half strike from Paulinho combined with Patrik Schick's 22nd league goal of the season ensured Die Werkself picked up three points over Oliver Glasner's side.

As a result of that victory, Leverkusen enter the weekend in third position, and a win on Saturday would secure Gerardo Seoane's side a place in next season's Champions League.

With Hoffenheim struggling for confidence, the third-highest scorers in the league will be aiming to take advantage on Saturday, and the visitors will be confident that they can find the net after scoring in 15 of their 16 away league games this season.

Having lost just three away Bundesliga games this term, Leverkusen head into the contest with the second-best away record in the top flight, with their 16 away matches yielding 29 points.
Team News

Amine Adli, Karim Bellarabi, Timothy, Fosu-Mensah, Jeremie Frimpong and Florian Wirtz are all sidelined for the visitors, while a foot injury could prevent Kerem Demirbay from featuring on Saturday.

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