THERE'S a midweek round of Bundesliga action to enjoy and on Wednesday night Hoffenheim take on Koln. Matthew Kirby (@M_Kirby95) shares his research.
Hoffenheim v Koln | Wednesday 27th May 2020, 19:30 | BT Sport
There’s a mid-table clash at the PreZero Arena as Koln travel to Hoffenheim with both sides looking for their first win since the league’s return.
Hoffenheim’s struggles have continued. They’re now winless in seven and without forwards Andrej Kramaric and Ishak Belfodil once more. It’s that lack of cutting edge in the final third that has been their problem.
Die Kraichgauer have recorded a better Expected Goals (xG) tally in both games since the resumption, but it’s just one point picked. And part of their problem this season has been here – they’ve got the worst home record of any side in the top half of the table.
While Hoffenheim have had issues putting the ball in the net, Koln haven’t. Sunday’s comeback in the Rhine derby was deserved looking at the Expected Goals data, but for a large part of that game, they looked blunt.
Anthony Modeste scored his first goal for the club before Jhon Cordoba headed home the equaliser in stoppage time. Both goals were created from crosses into the box by sub Dominick Drexler, who’ll be pushing for a start.
Taking on the hosts
Since Bundesliga returned behind closed doors, it’s been clear that some of the home advantage has been lost. Across the two gameweeks so far, there have only been three home wins.
And when you look at Hoffenheim’s home record, you’ll see it isn’t the best. Alfred Schreuder’s men have failed to win in nine of their 14 home league games, so it could pay to take them on once more, especially with a lack of goals.
Although Koln aren’t the most trustworthy on the road, they do know where the net is and this could be a case of them outscoring Hoffenheim. The Billy Goats have won three of their last five away games – all before the enforced break, but there is a case for them to be made.
There is nothing separating these two sides in the Expected Goals (xG) for stats this season:
- Hoffenheim 41.03xG v 41.75xG Koln
While at the other end, it would suggest that Hoffenheim concede better chances with their high Expected Goals against:
- Hoffenheim 50.06xGA v 40.73xGA Koln
So taking that into account, with Hoffenheim’s poor home record and lack of goals, then there is some scope in backing Koln 0 Asian Handicap at 21/20 with Bet365. It’s a winner for Koln pick up the three points, but void if the spoils are shared.
The betting angles
Borrowing some of Jack Lambden’s observations from the weekend, it shows that the foul count is above average, but the card count was below average. To highlight that fact, last weekend’s game with the most fouls was Koln v Dusseldorf, but there was just one card.
In terms of cards collected this season, only the Billy Goats Rhineland derby rivals who have picked up more cautions, so there is an opportunity here to back Koln for the most booking points.
They’ve had 63 cautions to Hoffenheim’s 49. Plus, Koln average 14.2 fouls per-game compared to the hosts’ average of 11. In all, the Billy Goats have committed nearly 100 more fouls this campaign than Hoffenheim.
Add into the mix that Koln have picked up more Booking Points in 8/13 away games (61.5%). Plus, the reverse fixture saw Koln collect four yellows to Hoffenheim’s three, then the evens (Betfair) available on the visitors accruing the most cards looks a worthwhile play in a tight encounter.
There could also be some scope in the 21/20 on Over 1.5 Koln Goals with William Hill. Hoffenheim wretched home form has seen them concede 2+ in nine of 14 games here at the PreZero Arena.
While the Billy Goats create plenty of opportunities in the opposition box, Hoffenheim allow 68% of chances against them inside their own area. So, with crosses being flung into their area, they’re going to need Oliver Baumann to be strong and command his box.
Crosses will be a big part of this contest with Hoffenheim having 20+ in both games so far and Koln putting 26 balls into the mixer on Sunday.
If Drexler starts for Koln, he’d be on my radar. He put two balls into the box, both creating the goals. It’s now three assists in his last two games – it’s 9/2 for him to record an assist with William Hill.
One man that catches the eye on the stats is Pavel Kaderabek. He played at right-back against Hertha Berlin, but played more of a wing-back role at the weekend against Paderborn.
Going off the Stat Zone app, it shows he’s attempted 16 crosses in the last two games. And in his only game in March, he hit five against Schalke. He’s 8/13 for 5 crosses and 11/10 in the Ladbrokes Bet Builder feature if that floats your boat.
With the injuries up front the responsibility has been passed on to the shoulders of Robert Skov. Having spent the majority of the season at left-back, the Dane was put up front on Saturday and it reaped an early reward with him netting the opening goal in the fourth minute.
His more advanced role has seen an increase in his shooting output. So far he’s had eight shots with three on target since the return. He’s not afraid to pull the trigger with four shots against Gladbach in February all coming from outside the area.
Betfair are 8/11 for 3+ shots, while Sky Bet and William Hill are both odds-against, with the latter at 6/5, which given his more advanced position and the spaces he’ll take up looks fairly generous considering he’s also had that many when plying his trade in his more traditional left-back position.
One final point to look out for is Mark Uth tackles. He faces his former employer and will be keen to impress. The forward leads the press and he’s completed two tackles in each of the games v Mainz and Dusseldorf. Sky Bet only go 5/6 for 2+ tackles, whereas Ladbrokes are 6/5, which is the right side of EVS to tempt me.
Hoffenheim v Koln – Koln most booking points (EVS Betfair)
Hoffenheim v Koln – Mark Uth 2+ Tackles (6/5 Ladbrokes)
Hoffenheim v Koln – Robert Skov Over 2 Shots (6/5 William Hill)