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Hoffenheim vs. Bayern Munich preview: Tuchel bows out

Written by on May 18, 2024

By Ben Sully@SullyBen

Thomas Tuchel will take charge of his final game as Bayern Munich boss in Saturday’s away clash with Hoffenheim.

Hoffenheim

Having collected 43 points from 33 matches, Hoffenheim will enter the final day of the season in seventh position. They will be in a buoyant mood after cruising to a 6-0 win in last Sunday’s clash with Darmstadt thanks to braces from Max Beier and Ihlas Bebou as well as goals from Pavel Kadeřábek and Ozan Kabak.

With three points separating them from sixth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt, Hoffenheim could still achieve a top-six finish. They will move up a place if Frankfurt lose and they beat Bayern, while pulling off a three-goal swing in goal difference. 

Although they could still creep up to sixth, die Kraichgauer still have work to do to consolidate seventh position. Pellegrino Matarazzo are sitting just one point clear of Freiburg in eighth place, which could still become a European position depending on the winner of the Champions League and the DFB-Pokal. Hoffenheim will be guaranteed to finish at least seventh if they beat Bayern. Even if they draw or lose, Freiburg would have to win to claim seventh due to Hoffenheim’s superior goal difference. 

The hosts have failed to win their last six head-to-head meetings with Bayern. As a result, they are still looking to beat the Bavarians for the first time since September 2020.

Team News

Hoffenheim are unable to call upon the injured trio of Dennis Geiger, Stanley Nsoki and Mergim Berisha.

Bayern Munich

Bayern are set to end the season without a trophy for the first time since 2011-12. The Bavarians lost to RB Leipzig in the DFL-Supercup, crashed out of the DFB-Pokal to third-tier Saarbrücken and failed to keep pace with newly-crowned Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen. Their final chance to win a trophy was quashed earlier this month when they conceded two late goals to lose to Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals.

While it has been a disappointing campaign, there has been plenty of speculation suggesting Tuchel could stay on as manager for the 2024-25 season. However, the Bayern boss has confirmed that he will still leave the club despite holding talks over a potential new deal. As a result, he will take charge of Bayern for the final time in Saturday’s meeting with Hoffenheim.

The Bavarians are still looking to clinch second spot, with Stuttgart sitting two points behind ahead of the final round of fixtures. Bayern will also be hoping to claim a second straight win after they beat Wolfsburg 2-0 in their recent home game thanks to goals from Lovro Zvonarek and Leon Goretzka.

However, the Bavarians will know that a win is far from a foregone conclusion, having won just two of their previous seven away matches in the Bundesliga.

Team News

Tuchel has revealed that Bayern will be without Harry Kane, Serge Gnabry,  Kingsley Coman, Leroy Sane, Jamal Musiala, Sacha Boey, Kim Min-jae, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Raphaël Guerreiro.

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