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Hot Bundesliga Tips: TSG Hoffenheim vs. Bayer 04 Leverkusen 12/2/11

Teams that are fighting in the middle of the Bundesliga table duke it out on Friday afternoon, and we are set to make our Bayer Leverkusen vs. TSG Hoffenheim picks for a tremendous clash on the pitch.

The trick for Leverkusen in this one is going to be not looking too far ahead to the finale of the group stages of the Champions League next week against Racing Genk. In the UCL, Bayer 04 needs just a point from the duel with Genk to ensure progress, while a loss at least leaves a measure of doubt. For now though, Friday’s clash is the one on our mind, and it should be the one on the minds of the German behemoths as well.

TSG Hoffenheim vs. Bayer 04 Leverkusen Date/Time: Friday, December 2nd, 2:30 p.m. (ET)
TSG Hoffenheim vs. Bayer 04 Leverkusen Television Coverage: ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com

Leverkusen is in the midst of a fine run of form. The team has taken points from four straight fixtures overall, including a Champion League triumph over Chelsea at home last week. The squad hasn’t played all that well at home domestically though, leaving with a bitter 2-2 draw against Hamburg SV on November 5th and a 1-0 defeat against Schalke 04 on October 23rd.

Bayer 04 as scored at least one goals in six straight fixtures, and in four straight, the team has found the back of the net at least twice. What is surprising though, is that Leverkusen only has a +1 goal differential for the season in spite of the recent goal outburst.

Stefan Kiebling has scored three times this year, and he also has a pair of assists. The man that he is doing the most setting up for is Eren Derdiyok, who has five strikes domestically. Michael Ballack has played in 10 games this year for Leverkusen domestically, though the 35 year old isn’t quite in the same type of form that he used to have in his days with Chelsea in the EPL.

Meanwhile, Hoffenheim is going in the wrong direction right now, and it has a pair of road tests coming up in the next eight days that could prove to be brutal. The team hasn’t taken full points in a match since October 22nd, and the very predictable slide down the Bundesliga table seems to be in full force.

The very simple problem that this team has is a lack of scoring goals. The new boys in the Bundesliga haven’t scored more than one goal in a fixture since September 17th. At that point in the year, TSG had scored 12 goals in six fixtures. Now in its last eight, it only has four goals scored. That won’t cut it on the road to survival for another year in the top flight, and the relegation playoff is only five points away, a margin that is probably only going to be getting closer and closer as the weeks drift by.

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It should come as no surprise that the hosts are the heavy favorites here at Bay Arena. The team is the odds on favorite at -135, while Hoffenheim is a significant underdog at +350 to take the three points on the road. The ‘total’ has been set at 2.5, and the oddsmakers are expecting this one to go past the number with the ‘over’ ringing in at -135.

This TSS post was written by:

- who has written 19 posts on Total Soccer Source.

Wolf is the newest member of the Total Soccer Source team, and he is a welcome asset. He's a German native, residing just outside of Berlin. He has been following the Bundesliga for over 20 years, and he has covered games for local German news outlets for the past decade.

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