Hoffenheim were wildly entertaining, yet unsuccessful, during the Hinründe

Lars Baron

Markus Gisdol has his work cut out for him in the Rückrunde to ensure Hoffenheim avoid a relegation fight.

Hoffenheim were anything but boring in the Hinründe, and that probably has a lot to do with the reason that they find themselves in 12th place in the winter break. Markos Gisdol's team has a lot of work cut out for them on the defensive side of things, but if they can play any defense in the second half, Bundesliga survival won't be an issue.

What Went Right

Elite Offense

When you watch Hoffenheim play, one of the things that you come away impressed with is their fantastic offense. Four players have scored at least 6 goals for Hoffenheim during the Hinründe. While Kevin Volland has received a lot of the press due to him being linked with various bigger clubs in Germany, Roberto Firmino has been the standout performer. The Brazilian has 8 goals and 6 assists through the first 17 matches. It's very likely that he'll be on the move this summer (Volland is also probably gone.), so Hoffenheim need to enjoy the seasons that he's having now.

Kevin Volland

The young forward was excellent in the Hinründe with 63 chances created and 36 shots on target. The 21 year old had 7 goals in the first 17 matches drawing attention from many bigger clubs in the Bundesliga. While he has been linked to Bayern Munich, it's more likely that he'll eventually head to Borussia Dortmund as a replacement for Robert Lewandowski. While Firmino has been by far the more creative of the two players during the Hinründe, Volland gave Hoffenheim a presence up front that the Brazilian just isn't able to replicate.

Tim Wiese is gone

Tim Wiese joined Hoffenheim on a big transfer fee and was a disaster ever since. The club recently announced that they had reached an agreement with Wiese that would see him leave the club .

What Went Wrong

Defense

Whoa. Hoffenheim's defense was tied for the worst in the Bundesliga with Hamburg. Through the first 17 games of the season, they allowed 38 goals. 38! The defense never managed even one clean sheet. What can we expect from them in the second half? Is there a chance that they can get better? Probably not. The positive from all of this is that Hoffenheim's matches should continue to be entertaining. In the Hinründe, their matches after just over four goals a game.

Second Half Outlook

If Hoffenheim can discover even the slightest defense they will avoid relegation from the Bundesliga with ease. If they continue at their current rate of playing absolutely zero defense, they run the risk of slipping into the relegation battle.

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