Germany: Bundesliga
FT
3 - 1
(1 - 1)
Frankfurt
Hoffenheim
R. Koch (32), E. Ebimbe (50), M. Götze (64)
J. Brooks (6), J. Brooks (22), O. Kabak (78)
By Ben Sully@SullyBen

Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Hoffenheim preview: Two European hopefuls go head-to-head

Two sides looking to secure European football will face off when Eintracht Frankfurt welcome Hoffenheim to Deutsche Bank Park on Saturday.

Eintracht Frankfurt


Frankfurt would have been relieved to end a six-game winless run with a narrow 2-1 victory over Heidenheim last Saturday. Die Adler went into the break with a slender advantage following a Benedikt Gimber own goal. Niels Nkounkou doubled Frankfurt’s lead within four minutes of the restart, and while Marvin Pieringer pulled a goal back just before the hour mark, die Adler saw out the remainder of the contest to claim their first win since the end of January.

Frankfurt are currently sitting in sixth position with a four-point cushion to Saturday’s opponents. Although they are looking over their shoulder, they will still be hoping to close the gap to the teams above them, especially with the possibility that fifth place could become a Champions League qualification spot, depending on the performance of the German teams in European competition this season. Dino Toppmöller’s side are six points adrift of RB Leipzig in fifth position, while they are seven points away from fourth-placed Borussia Dortmund.

Their current focus will be to take maximum points from Saturday’s home game against Hoffenheim. The hosts have managed to avoid defeat in each of their last seven head-to-head home meetings since losing 2-0 in April 2016.
Team News

Frankfurt are unable to call the services of Robin Koch, Sebastian Rode, Mehdi Loune and Saša Kalajdžić.

Hoffenheim


Hoffenheim have bounced back from an eight-game winless league run to record consecutive victories over Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen. After netting a brace in the 3-2 win over Dortmund, Maximilian Beier repeated the feat in last Sunday’s home meeting with Bremen. Beier scored twice in the opening 45 minutes to guide his side to a narrow 2-1 win, and their first home victory since December.

Despite claiming back-to-back wins, Hoffenheim still have room for improvement, especially in the defensive third. Pellegrino Matarazzo’s side have conceded in each of their last 19 league matches since keeping a clean sheet in a 2-0 win over Union Berlin in September. Sunday’s visitors have also conceded at least two goals in each of their last six Bundesliga away matches.

They will at least fancy their chances of troubling the scorers, having found the net in each of their previous eight games against Frankfurt.
Team News

The visitors are expected to be without Dennis Geiger, Robert Skov, Marco John, Grischa Prömel and Mërgim Berisha. Marius Bülter is suspended following his red card last weekend, while Pavel Kadeřábek will also serve a one-match suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card of the Bundesliga season.

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