Sebastian Hoeneß will be looking forward to his second season in charge of Hoffenheim. - © Kevin Voigt via www.imago-images.de/imago images/Jan Huebner
Sebastian Hoeneß will be looking forward to his second season in charge of Hoffenheim. - © Kevin Voigt via www.imago-images.de/imago images/Jan Huebner
bundesliga

Hoffenheim 2021/22 season preview

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Sebastian Hoeneß leads Hoffenheim into their second season together, eager to avoid the inconsistencies which plagued them last term.

Last season

Hoeneß inherited a side that had qualified for the UEFA Europa League, but Hoffenheim's 13th straight season in the Bundesliga did not exactly follow the script the incoming coach may have envisaged. It started in spectacular fashion, with a 3-2 win at Cologne followed by a 4-1 win over their new coach's former club Bayern Munich, which brought an end to the Bavarians' 32-game unbeaten run. However, a run of seven games without a win saw the early-season pace-setters plummet to 13th.

In Europe, Hoffenheim marched through the group stage with five wins and a draw, scoring a remarkable 17 goals and conceding just two. Juggling the two competitions was proving to be a challenge, though, and defeats regularly followed their midweek European appointments. Things improved domestically in the second half of the season, and a seven-game unbeaten end to the campaign augurs well for the new season.

Sebastian Hoeneß had Hoffenheim on the ball in the Europa League, but their Bundesliga form suffered at time. - Ralf Poller/Avanti via www.imago-images.de/imago images/Avanti

New arrivals

The signing of David Raum from Greuther Fürth is a major coup for Hoffenheim. The 23-year-old left full-back arrives after winning the Under-21 European Championship with Germany in the summer, and with a strong reputation for delivering assists – 15 of them in Bundesliga 2 last season alone.

Sebastian Rudy has made last season's loan from Schalke permanent, while Angelo Stiller has been prised from Bayern. Holding onto Andrej Kramaric and Florian Grillitsch, who both caught the eye at Euro 2020, is another positive sign heading into the new season, with Christoph Baumgartner also a key member of last season's squad to remain.

How might Hoffenheim line up?

Hoffenheim will have been delighted to keep hold of Andrej Kramaric this summer. - /

What to expect

Hoffenheim do not have to juggle domestic and European football this season, though they would certainly welcome that challenge again next term. After a year of highs and lows, and the time to adjust to life at the helm of a Bundesliga club, Hoeneß will be expecting an improvement from his team in the coming campaign and a top-half finish will be the objective.

Aside from Union Berlin on Matchday 2 and the trip to Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 3, Hoffenheim face three sides who all finished below them last season in their opening five fixtures and the traditionally strong starters will aim to hit the ground running once again, in order to set a positive tone for a campaign which they hope will lead back into Europe.

David Raum supplied 15 assists for Greuther Fürth last season and a similar return will go down well at Hoffenheim. - Pressefoto Rudel/Robin Rudel via www.imago-images.de/imago images/Sportfoto Rudel

Opening fixtures

DFB Cup: Viktoria Cologne vs. Hoffenheim (Monday, 9 August)
Augsburg vs. Hoffenheim (Saturday, 14 August)
Hoffenheim vs. Union Berlin (Sunday, 22 August)
Borussia Dortmund vs. Hoffenheim (Friday, 27 August)
Hoffenheim vs. Mainz (Saturday, 11 September)
Arminia Bielefeld vs. Hoffenheim (Saturday, 18 September)
Hoffenheim vs. Wolfsburg (Saturday, 25 September)

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