Written by Valdis Pans
After earning a draw in Dusseldorf last weekend, relegation-bound Paderborn will be hoping to cause another upset while hosting 9th-placed Hoffenheim, who got humiliated by Hertha Berlin on own turf on Saturday. Kick-off - at 9:30 PM ET on Saturday, May 23.
Paderborn Earn A Point In Dusseldorf
In a match between two bottom-three teams in the Bundesliga, neither side managed to collect all three points, as the bottom-dwelling Paderborn ended a four-game losing run with a scoreless draw against fellow-strugglers Fortuna Dusseldorf at MERKUR SPIEL-ARENA on Saturday. Midfielder Christopher Antwi-Adjei, who has collected a goal and two assists this season, came close to snatching a win for the team from North Rhine-Westphalia, shooting over the crossbar from point-blank range after Dusseldorf had already rattled the woodwork on four separate occasions. Paderborn are rock bottom in the league with a W4 D5 L17 record, sitting six points below the relegation playoff spot and 10 points from safety altogether.
German-Congolese striker Streli Mamba, an unused substitute in Dusseldorf, will be hoping for a start on Saturday to add to his team-leading count of five goals so far this season. Goalie Leopold Zingerle, meanwhile, is set for his 21st start during the current campaign, currently sitting 9th in the Bundesliga with 69 saves. He has recorded four clean sheets and gives up a goal every 49 minutes. Paderborn is 3rd in the least goals scored so far this year (30), 14th in shots taken (12.3 per game), 12th in control of the ball (47.0%) and 10th in passing accuracy (77.5%).
Hoffenheim Lose Another Home Game
The domestic form of Hoffenheim faced another setback, as the team notched its eighth defeat in 14 home games this season following a 3-0 loss to Hertha Berlin at PreZero Arena on Saturday. Central defender Kevin Akpoguma opened the scoring with an own goal after 58 minutes of play before the visitors buried two more strikes in the final half-an-hour of the game. Die Kraichgauer has now gone winless in their last six decisions in the league (D2 L4), sitting 9th in the standings (W10 D5 L11), four points off a place in the Top 6.
After missing Saturday’s encounter with an ankle and a knee problem, Croatian forward Andrej Kramaric could return to Hoffenheim’s lineup versus Paderborn, currently leading his team with seven goals in 14 appearances (12 starts). Goalie Oliver Baumann, meanwhile, is on course to make his 23rd start of the ongoing season, presently sitting 5th in the Bundesliga with 77 saves. He has picked up four clean sheets and allows a goal every 47 minutes. Hoffenheim are 11th in most goals scored (35), 11th in most shots taken (12.8 per game), and 5th in both ball possession (52.0%) and passing accuracy (81.8%).
After collecting just two points from their last six outings (D2 L4), Hoffenheim are in dire need to start picking up some wins if their determination to fight for Top 6 in the Bundesliga this season stands any credibility. Facing the bottom-dwelling Paderborn, who have failed to win any of their past seven matches (D2 L5), seems like a blessing. Die Kraichgauer already managed to beat the worst team in the league 3-0 at home back in November and are W4 D1 versus Paderborn historically, leading this series with a combined score of 7-0. Still, Hoffenheim have managed to score just four snipes in their last six overall contests, while three of the last four defeats of Paderborn, including a 3-2 loss to league-leading Bayern Munich on Feb. 21, have all been decided by a single strike. Against a struggling opponent, Paderborn can definitely earn a draw!
Correct score: 1-1 (+460)