The Bundesliga’s bottom club Paderborn missed a huge chance to resurrect their slimmest of survival hopes last week, when they dropped points in a 0-0 draw at third last Fortuna Dusseldorf.
With an expected goals tally of just 0.64, Paderborn rarely looked like grabbing the goal they so desperately needed at the MERKUR SPIEL-ARENA, though they did manage to keep things tight at the other end.
Paderborn, who have the Bundesliga’s second worst defensive record overall this term, had made improvements at the back before the German top-flight’s postponement in March, conceding two goals or less in five of their seven games before the pause button was pressed on the domestic season.
Their inability to produce consistent quality in the attacking third of the pitch continues to be a priority problem that manager Steffen Baumgart can’t seem to fix however, and Paderborn could struggle again in that regard this weekend.
Their opponents, Hoffenheim were beaten for the 8th time at home this season last week in a harrowing 0-3 reverse against Hertha Berlin.
Die Kraichgauer supporters are used to seeing their team come unstuck on their own patch, though having also witnessed their side avoid defeat in nine of their 12 matches on the road, they will travel to Dusseldorf with some confidence this week.
9th placed Hoffenheim’s success on their away day excursions this season has been built on strong foundations at the back.
A record of conceding 1.0 goals per game on average gives Alfred Schreuder’s charges the best away defensive record in the entire Bundesliga, though their return of 16 goals at the other end simultaneously makes them one of the more toothless visiting teams in the division.
Unsurprisingly, that combination of robust defending and unimaginative forward play has led to plenty of low scoring games. Under 2.5 goals hit the net in five of their last six Bundesliga away fixtures, and we expect their latest test at the Benteler-Arena to follow suit.
Paderborn are in the midst of a horrible four-game losing streak on their own patch, and we think Hoffenheim, who took maximum points in five of their last nine away games, have the tools to take advantage of their host’s plight, especially with the return from injury of top-scorer Andrej Kramaric.
Schreuder’s men lack the overall attacking thrust to do real damage however, and having scored exactly once in each of their last two away contests, we think a single goal is about the limit of their capabilities again this week. With that considered, we’re tipping Hoffenheim to eke out a 1-0 win.