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Bavarian Loan Works: Strong outing for Chris Richards as Hoffenheim blanks Werder Bremen 4-0

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It’s good to see Chris Richards starting and doing well at Hoffenheim.

TSG Hoffenheim v SV Werder Bremen - Bundesliga Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images

Chris Richards started and played the full 90 minutes in TSG Hoffenheim’s 4-0 routing of Werder Bremen over the weekend.

It was Richards’ second start for Hoffenheim since completing his loan move from Bayern Munich during the winter transfer window and it was only his third start in the Bundesliga altogether, his first having come for Bayern earlier this season against Hertha Berlin. Richards missed out last weekend for Hoffenheim’s 2-2 draw with Borussia Dortmund through a minor knock, otherwise he probably would’ve started.

In the match over the weekend, Richards did incredibly well to keep fellow American Josh Sarget at bay. Sargent has been enjoying a fantastic season for Florian Kohfeldt’s Bremen side, but he was kept relatively quiet by Richards and company on Sunday along with Theodor Gebre Selassie and Maximilian Eggestein, who were lined up on the left channel that Richards was defending.

It was his first clean sheet recorded and he tallied a total of 4 duels won, 2 interceptions, 7 ball recoveries, a pass success rate of 83%, and 58 passes, which was the most of any Hoffenheim player (per Sofascore.com). In addition, Richards completed 7 of 14 long balls.

Arguably, his best challenge came in the 18th minute when Sargent was played in by a pass from Eggestein, but Richards did well to show strength, get goal side of Sargent, and put in a well-timed sliding challenge to clear the danger. Marco John was arriving to the danger as well, but Richards had to get his challenge right, otherwise it could’ve been a chance on target for Sargent, or perhaps even a penalty.

Richards’ performance against Bremen also got him into Sportschau’s Bundesliga team of the week alongside RB Leipzig’s Lukas Klostermann and Mainz 05’s Danny da Costa in defense. Hopefully this is just one of many strong performances to come for Richards at Hoffenheim as working under Sebastian Hoeness seems like it’s going to be highly beneficial for his loan spell there.