MATHEW WAGNER - Sunday, May 26, 2013
With one foot already into the Bundesliga for next season, Fabian Johnson and Hoffenheim will hope to on during the second leg at Kaiserslautern on Monday.
Johnson should start at left wing for Hoffenheim once again.
For the most part, Hoffenheim looked more like a Bundesliga team than Kaiserslautern during the first leg in Sinsheim on Thursday. Thanks to that play, the Hoff has a two-goal advantage going into the second leg, and the team is confident that it can manage to hold off Kaiserslautern at Fritz-Walter-Stadion.
While Hoffenheim dominated at home, the team could be in for a rude awakening in Kaiserslautern, as the Red Devils are known to be a tougher team with a home crowd. At Fritz-Walter-Stadion this season, Kaiserslautern recorded 33 points (fourth-best in the Bundesliga) and a plus-20 goal differential, the best at home in the German second division. The Red Devils have only lost two matches at home all season - a 1-0 loss to Aalen on December 14 and a 2-1 loss to St. Pauli on May 19, the last match of the season.
Having scored an away goal on Thursday, Kaiserslautern is gunning for an early goal to shift all nerves back onto Hoffenheim away from friendly confines.
Hoffenheim will be without midfielders Tobias Weis and Daniel Williams because of a torn stomach muscle and an ankle injury, respectively. For Kaiserslautern, Mimoun Azaouagh, Jan Simunek and captain Albert Bunjaku will be match-time decisions due to muscles problems, a thigh injury and an Achilles' tendon problem.