Werder Bremen vs. Hoffenheim preview:
Die Kraichgauer aiming for long-awaited away win
By Ben Sully @SullyBen
Hoffenheim will attempt to claim a Bundesliga away win for the first time since October when they face Werder Bremen on Sunday.
|Pellegrino Matarazzo||TSG 1899 Hoffenheim|
Bremen have won just one of their last six games, but they managed to show great character to draw with Borussia Mönchengladbach before the international break. A Marvin Ducksch brace ensured his side held Gladbach to a 2-2 draw, ensuring they went into the international period in 11th position.
With nine points separating them from the bottom three, Bremen look well set to secure their place in the Bundesliga for another season.
Bremen boss Ole Werner will be content with his side’s progress this term, but he will still want to see a defensive improvement between now and the end of the season. Only two teams have conceded more times than Bremen, who have shipped 48 goals in 25 league games. They have also conceded at least twice in five of their last six matches.
The hosts are still unable to call upon Felix Agu, who has been sidelined since October.
After claiming a 2-1 victory over Hoffenheim in October, Bremen will have the chance to claim a league double over their opponents on Sunday.
Prior to the international break, Hoffenheim managed to end a 14-game winless run in the Bundesliga. Two Andrej Kramarić penalties and an Ihlas Bebou strike guided Hoffenheim to a 3-1 win over Hertha, representing Pellegrino Matarazzo’s first win since being appointed in early February.
With only goal difference keeping them outside the bottom three, Hoffenheim will be keen to claim another victory on Sunday. However, their away form suggests that claiming all three points may prove to be a difficult task. Hoffenheim have won just two of their 12 Bundesliga away matches this season, with their last six league games on the road all ending in defeat.
The visitors will at least be able to draw inspiration from the fact that they are unbeaten in their last seven Bundesliga away meetings with Bremen.