Hoffenheim v Kaiserslautern: Visitors happy to draw

23May 2013



It's the first part of this two-legged relegation play-off to see who will take up the one remaining Bundesliga spot next season...


Hoffenheim v Kaiserslautern, Thursday 19:30, ESPN, Match Odds: Hoffenheim 1.98, Kaiserslautern 4.3, The Draw 3.7


After ending each of the previous 11 Bundesliga matchdays in the second automatic relegation spot going into the last day, things were looking decidedly gloomy for Hoffenheim.


The unpopular billionaire-owned outfit had to rely on Fortuna Dusseldorf or Augsburg above them losing, while they had the hugely unenviable task of having to beat Champions League finalists Borrusia Dortmund away in order to seal their place in this demotion/promotion play-off.


Dusseldorf obliged by folding like playing cards at Hannover and, incredibly, Hoffenheim went to Westfalenstadion and escaped with a 2-1 victory following two late penalties.


Having earned their right to fight for Bundesliga survival, Hoffenheim will clearly have the bit between their teeth as they prepare to face the third-placed team in the second tier, Kaiserslautern.


However, regular Bundesliga occupiers Kaiserslautern will have other ideas, themselves looking for an immediate return to the big time under new manager Franco Foda. When the two clubs shared Bundesliga 1 status between 2010/11 and 2011/12, the contests were always close, producing two draws and two narrow wins for tonight's hosts.


Looking at both sides' form coming into this game, you'd have to favour the second-tier side over the two legs having recorded three convincing wins in their last five games. Hoffenheim's dismal home loss record is only topped by rock bottom Greuther Furth this season, having been beaten eight times at the Rhein-Neckar Arena.


Having only been defeated twice at their own ground all season, Kaiserslautern will be happy to take Hoffenheim back to the Fritz-Walter-Stadion on level terms.


Both teams to score


All four of the duo's recent top-flight meetings witnessed both keepers retrieving the ball from their respective nets. This has also been the case in both sides' last four matches ahead of the first leg of this relegation showdown.


Correct Score


Although both sides have had a problem keeping clean sheets in the last throes of their campaigns (and for most of the season), finding the net hasn't been too taxing. Kaiserslautern have notched more than twice in four of their last five games, whereas Hoffenheim have bagged twice in three of their last four runouts.


Best Bet: Back both teams to score @ 1.91

Other Recommended Bet: Back a 2-2 draw @ 20.0



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Keywords: Hoffenheim, Kaiserslautern, draw

Source: Betfair

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