by Zack Lambert
October 16th, 2020
Borussia Dortmund at TSG Hoffenheim
Spread: Hoffenheim (+0.5, +1); O/U: 3.5
Moneyline: Dortmund -145, Hoffenheim +320, Draw +350
Time/Location: 9:30 ET, Rhein-Neckar-Arena, Hoffenheim, Germany
The eternally youthful Dortmund are working towards an end goal of beating Bayern for the Bundesliga title, but that doesn’t seem like a reality this season. The team are very good and still have a ridiculous attack, but Bayern just have more talent. Gio Reyna and Erling Håland are spurring the team forward with their five goals and four assists across three matches. They youth is extremely talented, but the issue is that teenagers are inconsistent and Dortmund have already shown that.
A surprise 2-0 loss to Augsburg was sandwiched in between big wins over Gladbach and Freiburg and that type of thing can’t happen in a title run. With more experience the team will find more consistency but they’ll simply have to weather the storm for now. As I mentioned, Håland and Reyna are heading the attack, but the back line has been very impressive. Emre Can has been really good playing out of position in a back three next to Manuel Akanji and Mats Hummels and the defense has been impressive for the most part. If they can continue to put this type of production out from the back then maybe there’s a chance of catching Bayern.
Hoffenheim have been one of the most impressive sides in Germany to date despite their most recent loss to Frankfurt. Their attack is second to only Bayern and despite a defense that has been leaky at times, they’re winning matches. The biggest win came over Bayern, an upset to the highest degree. Their first match of the season was a narrow win over Köln so the follow up win over the holders was really shocking.
The reason Hoffenheim has been so impressive is because of their ability to play around Andrej Kramarić. The Croatian has six goals already on the season and shoots the ball a confounding 5.7 times per match. Behind him in the team ratings are multiple defenders, which speaks to how much of the heavy lifting Kramarić is doing on his own. If the midfield can find a place where they thrive and can compete with any team then I think Hoffenheim can make the Champions League. They’re actually this talented.
Analysis and Pick
Dortmund are going to keep blitzing. That’s the game plan now, and that’s the game plan moving forward. Use those young legs, dump the clutch, and open it up. Let the boys run. For Hoffenheim, it’s going to be a defensive game. They’re going to have to sell out on beating the young attack and prey on counters but I don’t see that being too prosperous.
Hoffenheim’s defense isn’t as good as their record indicated. They give up way too many goals for me to be comfortable with and even with a win over Bayern I’m still not convinced. I see Dortmund having a nice day on the attack and while I do see Hoffenheim hitting the polyester, I don’t see them drawing points. A 3-1 win for Dortmund will be the final product.