Two of the Bundesliga’s deadliest forwards go head-to-head on Friday evening as Borussia Dortmund welcome Hoffenheim to Signal Iduna Park in the third weekend of the Bundesliga season.
Erling Braut Haaland and Dortmund will be looking to bounce back from their defeat last time out against Andrej Kramaric and Hoffenheim.
Marco Rose’s reign at Dortmund has started in a rather mixed fashion since his summer arrival from Borussia Monchengladbach.
After beginning with a comfortable 3-0 win over SV Wehen Wiesbaden in the DFB-Pokal, which saw Haaland kickstart his season with a hat-trick, BVB got their Bundesliga campaign off to a flyer with a 5-2 victory at home to Eintracht Frankfurt, with Haaland being the star man again with a brace of goals and assists.
However, since then the hosts have tasted defeat in two consecutive matches. Firstly, their constant struggles against Bayern Munich continued with a 3-1 loss in the DFL-Supercup, despite their opponents failing to find their full stride in the early stages of the new season.
The Supercup defeat was then followed by another back in the league last weekend at the hands of Freiburg. These kinds of losses against mid-table opponents are what have cost Dortmund a consistent challenge to Bayern’s titles in recent years, and this season has started no differently.
Despite dominating the ball and probing for large periods of the game, the Black and Yellow fell to a 2-1 defeat, with only an own goal from Freiburg’s Yannik Keitel to show for their large number of efforts on goal.
Haaland and co now look ahead to Friday’s match as an opportunity to erase the memory of two defeats in the last week and to get back amongst the goals.
Hoffenheim travel to Signal Iduna Park on Friday in a slightly more buoyant mood than their hosts after an unbeaten start to the new season.
After a disappointing 2020-21 campaign saw them finish in 11th place, the away side have carried on from their strong finish to that poor season, into this one.
After opening with a 3-2 win over Viktoria Koln after extra time, which saw them progress into the second round of the DFB-Pokal, Hoffenheim thrashed Augsburg 4-0 on the opening day of the new Bundesliga season.
Last season’s 20-goal top scorer Kramaric was on top form in the opener, registering three assists for his teammates.
Despite failing to score in last weekend’s 2-2 draw at home to Union Berlin as well, the Croatian forward did manage to record another assist, to take his tally to four assists and two goals already this season, after scoring a brace in the cup tie.
The visitors will also remain hopeful of achieving a positive result after an impressive recent record over their hosts – Hoffenheim have only lost once to Dortmund in the last seven meetings, including the last three away trips.
Included within those last three visits was a 4-0 thrashing on the final day of the 2019-20 season, with star man Kramaric bagging all four goals that day. He, and his side, will be hoping for a similar occasion on Friday.
Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga form:
Borussia Dortmund form (all competitions):
Hoffenheim Bundesliga form:
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We say: Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Hoffenheim
Despite Dortmund’s defeats in their last two matches and Hoffenheim’s unbeaten start to the season, we expect the hosts to overcome their visitors back in front of their own fans.
Goals are to be expected when these two sides meet, and BVB’s home matches usually serve up a high amount.