24 December 2018
The first half of the Bundesliga 2018-2019 campaign concludes at the Wirsol Rhein-Neckar Arena where a struggling TSG Hoffenheim side tackle Mainz 05.
Winless in their previous seven competitive games the hosts have played out five straight Bundesliga draws while losing both of their last two Champions League outings. Hoffenheim’s indifferent home form (W3, D3, L2) has seen them failing to secure a victory five times in their last seven Bundesliga games in front of the local crowd. A 63% of Die Kraichgauer’s home clashes have produced over 2.5 goals, with Hoffenheim struggling to hit the back of the net just once in their opening eight local encounters. But, their inability to keep a clean sheet has seen Julian Nagelsmann’s players conceding in six home meetings this campaign.
Meanwhile, an unpredictable Mainz side has won just one out of last five Bundesliga clashes, suffering two defeats in the process. What’s more, the visitors have lost four out of their previous six away meetings, struggling to score three times in the process. Sitting 11th in the table (W5, D5, L6), Die Nullfünfer are one of the weakest attacking teams in the Bundesliga. Only two sides have scored fewer goals than Mainz (16) this term, with the Karnevalsverein failing to find the back of the net five times in their opening 16 Bundesliga outings. Their poor displays in the final third have seen Sandro Schwarz’s men scoring more than one goal per match just five times this season, only once on seven road trips so far.
Provisional line-up – TSG Hoffenheim:
Gk: Baumann Defense: Posch – Bicakcic – Hubner – Kaderabek – Schulz Midfield: Grillitisch – Demirbay Attack: Belfodil – Kramaric – Joelinton
Provisional line-up – Mainz 95:
Gk: Zentner Defense: Bell – Niakhate – Gbamin – Brosinski – Aaron Midfield: Kunde Malong – Latza Attack: Quaison – Boetius – Mateta
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