Preview - Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Hoffenheim 22 February 20

Started by Harry85, Feb 22, 2020, 08:41 PM

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Match Day 23
Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Hoffenheim
Saturday, February 22nd 2020
22:30pm (GMT+8 Timing)

Borussia Mönchengladbach:
Last five matches form: D L W D W
Average goals per match: 2.00
Average goals against per match: 1.14
Top Scorer: Alassane Pléa ( 8 )

Last five matches form: L W W L L
Average goals per match: 1.50
Average goals against per match: 1.59
Top Scorer: Andrej Kramarić (7)

Borussia Mönchengladbach may have slipped a little from their status as early pacesetters in the Bundesliga, but they still sit in fourth spot - seven points adrift of leaders Bayern Munich, but with two games in hand. The first of those fixtures comes here as they play host to eighth placed Hoffenheim who - only three points off the European places themselves - also have plenty to play for in the remainder of the season.

Gladbach were comfortable 3-0 winners in the reverse of this fixture. Hoffenheim fared better in the game here last season when picking up a 2-2 draw.

Keanan Bennetts looks like being the only missing player for the hosts. Just the one confirmed absentee for the visitors at this stage too, with Ishak Belfodil being the man on the side-lines.

Gladbach are absolutely flying at home at present and head into this seeking a ninth win on the spin in front of their own fans - scoring two or more in all eight of those previous wins, and conceding one or fewer in seven of ten overall.

Hoffenheim have been good on the road in only losing three of ten overall and winning five of their last seven. They have been particularly impressive at the back in conceding more than once in only two of ten.

This is a tough game for Gladbach, and one which we see being pretty tight. A draw wouldn't be the greatest surprise, but overall we do see the hosts just about edging it.

Prediction: Borussia Mönchengladbach 2 - 1 Hoffenheim


Half time: 1 - 0
Full time: 1 - 1
Shots: 16 - 21
Shots on target: 10 - 4
Corner Kicks:  8 - 8
Possession: 48% - 52%

Four bookings for each side in this one, with Denis Zakaria, Lars Stindl, Oscar Wendt and Patrick Hermann of Gladbach, and Robert Skov, Christoph Baumgartner, Maximilian Beier and Lucas Ribeiro of Hoffenheim all having their names taken by referee Felix Brych.

An impressive tally of shots from Hoffenheim in this one, for all that they weren't all on target. Having edged the possession too, there can't be too many legitimate complaints from Gladbach fans that the visitors came away with a point from this one.

The home side struck first in the eleventh minute. A corner from the right dropping to Matthias Ginter around 12 yards out and central. Ginter's volleyed effort only just to the right of the keeper who got a touch but was unable to keep it out.

Ginter was nearly at it again just before the break when getting to another partially cleared corner - but this time seeing his effort well-saved by Oliver Baumann. 1-0 at the break.

Hoffenheim were the better side early in the second half, with Yann Sommer twice being called into action to repel efforts from range.

The hosts nearly doubled their advantage when Oliver Baumann made a hash of dealing with a shot from the edge of the area - ultimately only succeeding in flapping the ball back towards his own goal-line. Credit to the keeper though, he did manage to claw the ball away to spare his own blushes.

Then came one of the most forensic VAR decisions of the season. The ball barely seeming to touch Benjamin Hubner's hand, and Hubner's hand in turn barely seeming to be in the area. It did take a while, but ultimately the hosts were awarded that spot kick. Alassane Pléa fired to the left, but it was a nice height for Baumann who made the save.

Gladbach then did look to have doubled their advantage when Pléa tapped in at the end of a swift counter, but the goal was chalked off for a handball much earlier in the move.

And then, in the first minute of added on time, Hoffenheim grabbed a point. Christoph Baumgartner getting on the end of a corner from the right and heading towards goal. His effort looked to be travelling wide but there was Lucas Ribeiro to get to it and head home into the right-hand side from only a couple of yards.

Gladbach stay fourth and six points adrift of leaders Bayern Munich, but do still have a game in hand. Excellent point on the road for Hoffenheim who move up to seventh and are only two points shy of the European positions with plenty of football still to be played.

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