New 50+1 club Hoffenheim travel to Borussia-Park on Saturday in hopes of ending a winless three-game stretch in the Bundesliga.
Gladbach disappointingly gave away a 2-0 lead against BVB last week and dropped back to 11th in the table. They’ve had no problems scoring offensively, but the defensive woes have continued as they’ve allowed the second-most goals in league play.
Still, the back three of Wöber, Elvedi, and Scally is expected to start again this weekend behind a midfield five. Gladbach must be careful and avoid looking ahead to their Pokal round of 16 contest against Wolfsburg on Tuesday.
When asked about in-form youngster Rocco Reitz, Gerardo Seoane said, "Rocco gives us defensive stability. His most important jobs are winning the individual battles in midfield, filling holes, and working hard for the ball. Over time, he's also started to provide attacking impetus, which we are of course very pleased about."
Jordan is out with a thigh strain, meaning Tomas Cvancara could return to the starting lineup. Jonas Omlin, Ko Itakura, and Tony Jantschke are out. Hannes Wolf did return to training, but it's likely too early for his return to the pitch.
Despite having only won once in their last six games, Hoffenheim sit 6th in the table and are dreaming of a return to Europe. Keeper Oliver Baumann has saved them on several occasions this season and he had some sensational saves last weekend to salvage a point against Mainz.
Hoffenheim can end 2023 on a high note with favorable games against lowly Bochum and Darmstadt coming up. All eyes on Saturday will be up front with Maximilian Beier, who has surprisingly gone five straight games without scoring a goal.
Pellegrino Matarazzo commented, "Ups and downs in performance levels are normal. We need to reboot the antennas. We want more. We therefore need a certain greed. If we do not push ourselves to our limit, it will be difficult."
Bambase Conte, Mergim Berisha, Marco John, and Dennis Geiger are out. Anton Stach and Florian Grillitsch are questionable with illnesses, while Stanley Nsoki likely still isn’t ready to feature. Grischa Prömel will serve his yellow-card suspension.