Germany: Bundesliga
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M. Dabour (32)
M. Ducksch (18), N. Füllkrug (87)
By Ben Sully@SullyBen

Hoffenheim vs. Werder Bremen preview: Hosts aiming to move into top four

Hoffenheim will look to claim a fourth home win of the season when they play host to Werder Bremen on Friday.

A victory would move the hosts into the top four ahead of the rest of the weekend's fixtures, but they are up against a Bremen side who are unbeaten on their travels this season.


Hoffenheim enter Friday's contest in fifth position after collecting 14 points from eight games.

After winning three and drawing two of their opening five league games, Hoffenheim will be looking to extend their unbeaten run on Friday. The hosts have managed to avoid defeat in their last three matches, although their previous two games have ended all square. A goalless draw with Freiburg was followed by an away meeting with Hertha last weekend, where Andrej Kramaric's opener was cancelled out by Dodi Lukébakio's equaliser, ensuring the contest ended 1-1.

Having collected 10 of their 14 points from home matches, Hoffenheim head into Friday's encounter with the joint-best home record in the Bundesliga this season. Union Berlin and RB Leipzig are the only other sides who have matched Hoffenheim's points tally from home games.

After beating Bremen in their previous two home meetings, Hoffenheim will be confident that they can continue their fine run of form at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena.
Team News

Ermin Bicakcic and Ihlas Bebou are both ruled out with knee problems, while Benjamin Hübner is sidelined due to an ankle injury. Meanwhile, Robert Skov is available after returning to the matchday squad against Hertha BSC.

Werder Bremen

Bremen continue to be one of the most enjoyable teams to watch in the Bundesliga this season. The eight league games that they have been involved in this season have yielded 31 goals - more than any other side in the top-flight. Impressively, 18 of those goals have been scored by Bremen, who head into the weekend as the league's second-highest scorers behind Bayern Munich.

Friday's visitors will be aiming to clinch consecutive victories after thrashing Borussia Mönchengladbach 5-1 last weekend. Ole Werner's side required only 13 minutes to race into a three-goal lead as Niclas Füllkrug netted a brace, while his striker partner Marvin Ducksch also managed to beat Yann Sommer. A Ramy Bensebaïni own goal added to Bremen's advantage before half time, and although Marcus Thuram pulled one back after the interval, Mitchell Weiser restored the four-goal cushion to wrap up a memorable 5-1 victory.

As they look to maintain their unbeaten away record, Bremen know that a win on Friday would move them above their opponents and into the European places. However, they will need to improve on their recent head-to-head record after winning only one of their previous 11 Bundesliga games against Hoffenheim.
Team News

The visitors are without the services of Eren Dinkci, Nicolai Rapp, Dikeni Salifou and
Jean-Manuel Mbom due to injury issues. Meanwhile, Amos Pieper is expected to return to the starting lineup after serving a one-match suspension.

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