Easy to predict, difficult to stop
After Werder Bremen's 2-1 victory at TSG Hoffenheim in the reverse fixture, many fans on the Weser were hoping for a return to Europe. Fifth place was an impressive position for the promoted outfit to be in at the time – but the club officials remained objective and continued to label their survival as the sole objective for the season. This approach has paid off to date: Werder have never dropped below 11th place in the table this season.
It leaves Bremen, who have a comfortable 10-point cushion over the relegation play-off place, feeling confident ahead of the season run-in. The two top strikers have played an important role in putting the club in this good position: Niclas Füllkrug tops the scoring charts with 15 goals, while strike partner Marvin Ducksch has impressed more recently and scored four of his eight goals this season in the past four games. No other player in the Bremen squad has found the net more than twice, making Ducksch and Füllkrug the key players in Bremen's battle for survival.
According to Germany international Füllkrug, Bremen want to "take an attacking approach" against Hoffenheim. The duo already showed their quality in the reverse fixture against TSG, with Ducksch firing Bremen in front (18) and Füllkrug then scoring a late winner from the penalty spot (87) after Munas Dabbur had levelled the scores (32). Hoffenheim are therefore well acquainted with the two forwards.