Preview - Hoffenheim vs Hannover 96 28 April 2018

Started by Harry85, Apr 25, 2018, 05:30 PM

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Match Day 32
Hoffenheim vs Hannover 96
Saturday, April 28th, 2018
03:30 am (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: Rhein-Neckar-Arena

Last five matches form: D W D W W
Average goals per match: 1.94
Average goals against per match: 1.42
Top Scorer: Mark Uth (14)

Hannover 96:
Last five matches form: L L W D L
Average goals per match: 1.23
Average goals against per match: 1.52
Top Scorer: Niclas Füllkrug (12)

In form Hoffenheim welcome struggling Hannover 96 to their Rhein-Neckar-Arena home in the opening game of Match Day 32 in the Bundesliga.

If Hoffenheim are to continue their assault on the Champions League positions, then this is the type of game they simply must be winning. Currently in fifth position, Europa League qualification is not quite guaranteed with seventh placed Eintracht Frankfurt just three places behind, but now only two points behind Bayer Leverkusen in fourth, Hoffenheim will have their eyes on a bigger prize. Unbeaten in eight, they are certainly one of the teams with the most momentum as we head into the crucial closing stages.

Having begun the season in promising fashion, Hannover's form has taken a rather alarming nosedive of late. They arrive here having lost six of their last eight and have slumped to 13th in the table. Six points clear of the relegation zone with three games remaining, they should be ok, but the way they are playing they may be made to sweat a bit in the closing games.

Hannover have been in most games on their travels of late, with their past six road games ending in either 1-0 defeats of 1-1 draws. However they are meeting one of the in-form sides in the Bundesliga here who have bagged 11 goals in their past three at home. With that carrot of Champions League football dangling tantalisingly close now, we see a comfortable home win here.

Prediction: Hoffenheim 3 - 0 Hannover 96


Half time: 1 - 1
Full time: 3 - 1
Shots: 16 - 13
Shots on target: 6 - 4
Corner Kicks: 7 - 4
Possession: 55% - 45%

The booking count mirrored the final score here. Referee Patrick Ittrich issuing yellow cards to Nadiem Amiri, Pavel Kaderabek and Kevin Vogt for Hoffenheim and Timo Huebers for Hannover.

The home side dominated the opening proceedings and in the 16th minute were gifted the lead by some calamitous Hannover defending. Salif Sané inexplicably playing the ball to Serge Gnabry just inside his own box. Gnabry running in on goal and drawing the keeper before teeing up Andrej Kramarić for the tap in.

That error seemed to wake Hannover up and in the 24th minute they were level. Pirmin Schwegler finding himself in acres down the right-hand side before driving into the box and playing in an excellent low ball. Kenan Karaman on hand to convert from a couple of yards.

And that's the way it stayed until half time.

Much like in the opening period the home side applied the pressure from the off after the break. Then in the 50th minute when a corner was floated in from the left it dropped perfectly for Kramarić around the penalty spot to excellently volley home.

Hannover deserve credit for the way they fought back, racking up plenty of shots but being unable to find a way through.

Pushing forward comes with its risks though and in the 86th minute they were caught on the counter. Nico Schulz playing Kramarić in and the front man grabbing his hattrick by coolly finishing over Philipp Tschauner. 3-1 final score.

A big win for Hoffenheim in the race for the Champions League. Jualian Nagelsmann's side move up into fourth position, one point ahead of Bayer Leverkusen ahead of their clash with Stuttgart tomorrow.

Hannover stay 13th and will remain in that position at the end of Round 32 with none of the teams below them able to overtake this week. Six points clear of the bottom three they should comfortably avoid relegation.

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