Hoffenheim will be aiming to build on a fine season last time out which brought a sixth-place Bundesliga finish and automatic qualification to the 2020-21 Europa League.
Much will be expected from new manager Sebastian Hoeness who has replaced Alfred Schreuder in the dugout over the summer. The 38-year-old is the second-youngest coach in Hoffenheim’s history and joins from Bayern Munich where he impressed as coach of the reserve team.
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Starting with the 2020-21 season, anyone in the US can watch every Hoffenheim game live on ESPN+:
ESPN+ will have live coverage of every Bundesliga match in 20-21, as well as DFL Supercup, Bundesliga 2, Serie A, FA Cup, Carabao Cup, MLS and other live sports. It also includes every 30-for-30 documentary and additional original content (both video and written) all for $5.99 per month.
Or, if you also want Disney+ and Hulu, you can get all three for $12.99 per month, which works out to about 31 percent savings:
Once signed up for ESPN+, you can watch every Hoffenheim match live on the ESPN app on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet. Or you can watch on your computer via ESPN.com.
Hoffenheim 2020-21 Preview
There will be plenty of optimism around Hoffenheim this season, although the sacking of Schreuder with four games to game may bring some uncertainty. Hoeness looks a shrewd move but does lack top-level management experience.
Still, he takes over a team that won at both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in 2019-20 and will have plenty of talent at his disposal with players such as Andrej Kramaric, Christoph Baumgartner, Robert Skov, and Benjamin Hübner in the squad.
Young Dane Skov certainly caught the eye last season by winning November’s Goal of the Month award with this brilliant effort in a 3-0 win over Paderborn.
New signing Mijat Gacinovic should also add something extra to the attack, while talented 18-year-old Melayro Bogarde made his debut in the Bundesliga last season and will be hoping for more chances to impress in 2020-21.
18 – Melayro Bogarde will be making his debut for Hoffenheim today; he is set to become the youngest Dutch player in Bundesliga history (18 years, 2 days). Introduction. pic.twitter.com/ZU1ZmX1Ywd
— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) May 30, 2020
Hoeness has already explained how he wants his team to play in an interview with the Bundesliga’s official website.
“I stand for attractive, brave, and attacking football in all aspects of the game. We want to seize the initiative and not wait for the opposition. We want to dictate the pace of the game and we need to be brave and have confidence in our own ability in order to achieve this. This is what we want to try to do in the first game. The excitement comes from playing attacking football, being brave, and creating opportunities in front of goal.”
Croatian striker Kramaric is a key player and was the team’s top scorer last season with 12 goals in 19 games despite an injury-hit campaign. The 29-year-old has told Sport Bild he wants to improve on that count in 2020-21.
“Many strikers can’t match that goal ratio. And my stats can get even better if I play every game. I’m happy that I’m no longer injured. I’d like to score 17 goals, just like I did two years ago. I really want it to be a great season, and I will give everything to achieve this.”
Kramaric has scored 70 goals in 150 games for Hoffenheim since joining from Leicester City in 2016 and has already opened his account for the new season, netting in the DGB-Pokal clash against Chemnitzer FC.
Transfers Ins and Outs
Hoffenheim have brought in Gacinovic from Eintracht Frankfurt in a move that saw Steven Zuber head the other way. Sporting director Alexander Rosen admitted to having mixed feelings about the transfer.
“There’s a bit of sadness on the one hand, but also a great deal of anticipation on the other. We lose an ever-present player from our squad, but we gain an extremely exciting player with a profile that we haven’t had recently.”
“[Gacinovic] is unpredictable, technically good, and a strong and fast midfielder. He gives us many options with his ability on the ball as well as his hard work and pressing when we don’t have possession.”
Gacinovic leaves after five years at Frankfurt where he won the DFB-Pokal, scoring a memorable solo goal in the final in 2018 against Bayern Munich.
Mijat Gacinovic leaves Eintracht Frankfurt and signs for Hoffenheim.
Which is a good enough reason to tweet THAT 2018 #DFBPokal final goal 🦅
— DW Sports (@dw_sports) August 4, 2020
Hoffenheim have also waved goodbye to Sebastian Rudy who has returned to Schalke after his loan deal expired.
Manager: Sebastian Hoeness
Hoeness may never have coached in the Bundesliga before but he certainly does not lack for knowledge of the German top flight. The 38-year-old is the nephew of Uli Hoeness, who won the World Cup with West Germany in 1974 and three Bundesliga and European Cups with Bayern Munich.
Hoeness’ father, Dieter, also won titles with the Bavarian giants. He spent eight years at the club, picking up nine league crowns and was also part of West Germany’s 1986 World Cup squad.
The new Hoffenheim manager has admitted he has learnt a lot from his family connections and that he still takes advice from his father.
“I have been connected to football in some way or another for as long as I can remember. As a boy, I used to sit next to my father when he was on the phone and I just listened in. I only heard his side of the conversation, but I still learned a lot. I can’t deny that my father has had a big impact on me over the years.
“There still came a time when I had gained my own experiences and went my own way, but my father still followed my progress closely. This was very important to me because his experience is invaluable in certain situations. There is a strong family influence and am very happy about this. He is a confidant and he has already gone through these experiences himself, so he is able to give me good advice here and there.”
Hoeness had a modest playing career, featuring for Hertha BSC II and Hoffenheim, but has tasted success in his managerial career. His Bayern II team won their maiden 3. Liga title in 2019-20 and he was named the manager of the season.
An exciting new challenge now awaits Hoeness, who has been likened to Munich coach Hansi Flick, at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena. If the new boss can have anything like the impact Flick has had at Bayern, then Hoffenheim fans should be set for an exciting campaign.
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