Hoffenheim TSG vs Borussia Dortmund Preview: Classic Encounter, Key Battle, Team News & More

Borussia Dortmund travel to the Rhein-Neckar-Arena to face Hoffenheim TSG on Saturday in the Bundesliga.

Dortmund will be buoyant following their late win over Club Brugge on Tuesday. Along with their midweek win, BVB have enjoyed a good start to the Bundesliga season so far, with the club currently sitting second in the table.

As for the home side, they have had a bad start to their domestic campaign. An opening day defeat to Bayern was obvious, however, a loss to newly promoted side Fortuna Dusseldorf sent shockwaves through the league. 

The home side will be hoping to kick start their season on Saturday with a positive result, while Dortmund will be looking to continue their good start with a win. 

Here’s all you need to know ahead of Saturday’s match.

Classic Encounter

Back in December of 2012, these two sides locked horns at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena and it is fair to say it was a thriller.

The game started with a bang as the home side took an early lead. The Dortmund defence was undone following a long-ball over the top and it was Mark Uth who went clean through, rounded the goalkeeper and tapped the ball home. 

Dortmund didn’t take long to respond, and with ten minutes on the clock they levelled the score. After good work from Ousmane Dembele, the ball found its way to Mario Gotze and the German calmly caressed the ball into the corner of the net. 

The scores weren’t level for long however, as Sandro Wagner restored the home side’s lead with a close-range header from a corner. 

Things went from bad to worse for Dortmund when just before half-time star man Marco Reus was shown his second yellow card for a petty foul. 

Despite going down to ten men, the away side found a way to goal and brought the score to 2-2. It was Dembele again who provided the assist as he slipped in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who chipped the ball over the on-rushing Oliver Baumann. 

A point for each side was the right result. Both teams had a successful domestic campaign in 2016/17, with the two finishing in the top four and qualifying for the Champions League. 

Key Battle

Adam Szalai vs Manuel Akanji

Adam Szalai has had an incredible start to the season so far. The Hungarian has scored three times in three Bundesliga games this season in what has been a tough start for Hoffenheim.

Juergen Schwarz/GettyImages

Manuel Akanji will be tasked with stopping Hoffenheim’s sharpshooter, and following impressive displays in the opening weeks of the season, it seems as though the Swiss international is more than capable of keeping Szalai quiet.

This key battle will be an interesting watch as two in-form stars come head-to-head.

Team News

Centre-back Kasim Adams is missing for the home side with a torn ankle ligament and is expected to be back in action by mid-October.

Boris Streubel/GettyImages

Summer signings Thomas Delaney and Paco Alcacer are doubtful for the game on Saturday with slight knocks. Portuguese international Raphael Guerreiro is likely to miss the game on the weekend with a hamstring injury. 

Potential Hoffenheim Lineup: Baumann, Nordtveit, Vogt, Posch, Kaderabek, Bittencourt, Grillitsch, Kramaric, Schulz, Joelinton, Szalai.

Potential Borussia Dortmund Lineup: Burki, Piszczek, Akanji, Diallo, Schmelzer, Weigl, Witsel, Pulisic, Gotze, Philipp, Reus.


The away side will be full of confidence following their start to the season and fresh off a midweek win in the Champions League a Dortmund win is expected on Saturday.

Boris Streubel/GettyImages

The Rhein-Neckar-Arena is always a tough place to play and if Dortmund are to get a win they will need to have Reus and co firing on all cylinders. 

Predicted Score: Hoffenheim 1-2 Borussia Dortmund