First game in 2021: Women away to Hoffenheim

The winter break in the FLYERALARM Women’s Bundesliga is over and now it’s back to league action. On matchday 19, which has been brought forward to this weekend and thereby played before matchday 13, the Bayer 04 Women are away to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. The match at the Dietmar Hopp Stadium in Sinsheim on Sunday 7 February kicks off at 14.00 CET.

After the two 2-1 wins before Christmas, the Bayer 04 Women were fifth in the table on 20 points and only five points behind third-placed TSG going into the winter break. The aim now is to defend that position in the ten remaining games in the second half of the season and reproduce the good performances from before the winter break. The first match in 2021 is against Hoffenheim who have won nine of their last ten games – including the match against the Werkself Women. The first meeting on matchday 8 ended in a 5-2 defeat for Leverkusen. Bayer 04 did take an early lead and only conceded the fourth goal on 90 minutes that sealed the outcome of the game.

That is not the only reason why the head coach Achim Feifel is confident ahead of the game. The build-up with friendlies against league rivals Werder Bremen (3-2) and second division Borussia Bocholt (7-0) proved to be a big success. A new striker has recently joined the squad: Fans and the team can look forward to new signing Mina Tanaka. “Mina has a work permit and everything else will be decided after the final pre-match training session,” explained Feifel regarding a possible debut for the Japan international who has joined the Werkself on loan to the end of the season from INAC Kobe Leonessabis.

“Cause them problems”

To get a result at Hoffenheim, the Bayer 04 coach is expecting a courageous performance. “We have to be brave and have lots of confidence going into the game. It will be important for us to be switched on from the start and be aggressive in challenges. You can’t afford to let a top team like Hoffenheim have space or give them time to pass it around. We will try to make the most of our counter-attacks and cause them problems.”

TSG have the top goalscorer in the FLYERALARM Women’s Bundesliga in Nicole Billa. She has scored 14 goals so far this term. “We’ll try to defend collectively against the player and try to prevent passes getting to her,” said Feifel in setting out his plan. The Black and Reds will have to produce a top performance in the away game at Hoffenheim – “We’ll get our chances if we can stay in the game.”

Sandra Jessen, Nina Brüggemann, Viktoria Pinther, Pauline Machtens, Melissa Friedrich and Pauline Wimmer are all unavailable for Sunday’s game as is Jessica Wich, who is in rehab training following her broken ankle.


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