Kevin Hatchard’s hoping his Bundesliga expertise can come in handy today, as he opposes the league’s most out-of-form side.
Paderborn v Hoffenheim
Saturday March 21, 14:30
I asked you to take a leap of faith, and unfortunately we hit the ground pretty hard. The goals dried up for Le Havre, and Angers’ 1-0 win was two goals short of where we needed to be.
In times of difficulty you go with what you know, so we’re heading to my beloved German Bundesliga, and a game between sinking Paderborn and in-form Hoffenheim.
Paderborn were everyone’s favourite second team early in the campaign. The newly-promoted club had the smallest budget, the smallest ground, and didn’t even have proper training facilities or a scouting network. Despite those strictures, SCP still topped the table after four games, and the turn of the year they were in a healthy position.
Sadly, 2015 hasn’t been the year of the underdog. Paderborn’s form has collapsed, and coach Andre Breitenreiter has responded with increasingly negative tactics. That timid approach hasn’t worked.
Paderborn have lost six of their eight Bundesliga games since the winter break, and are yet to pick up a point at home in 2015. They have conceded more goals (23) than any other team, and they have scored just twice in eight games, failing to hit the net in seven of them. It’s a run which has seen SCP drop into the relegation zone.
Paderborn have lost their last four games to nil, and with attacking players like Moritz Stoppelkamp, Mario Vrancic and Elias Kachunga either out of form or marginalised by the coach, I’m not expecting an attacking revival any time soon.
Hoffenheim aren’t great away from home, having won just two of their road matches all season, but they have won four of their last six games in all competitions. Attacking stars Kevin Volland and Roberto Firmino have both found a bit of form after a lean spell, and last week Hoffe thumped Hamburg 3-0.
Hoffenheim don’t lack motivation, as they are just two points outside the Europa League slots, and they certainly have enough quality to take advantage of Paderborn’s total loss of self-belief. I wouldn’t back Paderborn to take a point off the Dog and Duck in their current form, so I’m certainly happy to back the Bundesliga’s seventh-best team at odds-against.
Back Hoffenheim to win at 2.0811/10
2015 P/L (1pt per bet)
Points Staked: 39
Points Returned: 35.64
P/L: -3.36 points