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Bundesliga | Gameweek 31
Apr 26, 2024 at 7.30pm UK
Vonovia Ruhrstadion

VfL Bochum
3 - 2

Stoger (34', 64'), Passlack (45+2')
Losilla (30')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Kramaric (73', 84')
Tohumcu (33')

Preview: VfL Bochum vs. Hoffenheim - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: VfL Bochum vs. Hoffenheim - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's Bundesliga clash between VfL Bochum and Hoffenheim, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

VfL Bochum will be looking to boost their Bundesliga survival hopes when they welcome top-seven contenders Hoffenheim to Vonovia Ruhrstadion on Friday night.

The two teams meet for the first time since December last year when Pellegrino Matarazzo's side secured a 3-1 victory at PreZero Arena.

Match preview

Bochum's three-year stay in the Bundesliga is at risk of coming to an end as they find themselves in danger of the drop having put together an eight-game winless run, including six defeats.

The Blues have drawn their last two home matches with SV Darmstadt 98 and Heidenheim by a 1-1 scoreline, but their away form leaves little to be desired as they have lost each of their last four, including a 1-0 defeat at Wolfsburg last weekend.

Jonas Wind's first-half strike condemned Heiko Butscher's side to their 13th league loss of the campaign and they have subsequently slipped into the relegation playoff position, albeit on goal difference, following Mainz 05's 1-1 draw at Freiburg.

Although Bochum are winless in their last four on home soil, they will welcome a return to Vonovia Ruhrstadion where they have accumulated 20 of their 27 Bundesliga points this season, beating the likes of Bayern Munich and Stuttgart in the process.

Bochum have also won each of their last three home encounters with Hoffenheim by an aggregate score of 9-3, including an emphatic 5-2 victory in February last year, so there is reason for Butscher and co to be optimistic of success on Friday.

After finishing 12th in the Bundesliga last season, Hoffenheim are on course to secure a top-half finish this term and remain in the mix for the European spots, although their inconsistent form in recent weeks has somewhat hindered their progress.

Indeed, Die Kraichgauer have won four and lost five of their last nine league matches since mid-February, most recently following up a heavy 4-1 loss to relegation-threatened Mainz with a thrilling 4-3 home victory against Borussia Monchengladbach last weekend.

In a contest full of twists and turns, Monchengladbach were seemingly on course to snatch a point after Robin Hack followed up his first-half strike with two late goals after the break to complete his hat-trick. However, Hoffenheim's Anton Stach had the last laugh as he netted the decisive goal in the 91st minute to secure maximum points for the hosts in dramatic fashion.

Matarazzo's men currently sit ninth in the Bundesliga table, level on points with eighth-placed Augsburg, one point behind Freiburg in seventh and six adrift of Eintracht Frankfurt in sixth spot. Although Hoffenheim are playing catch-up in the race for Europe, they are not too far behind seventh spot, which could be enough to qualify for the Europa Conference League if Bayer Leverkusen win the DFB-Pokal.

Hoffenheim enter Friday's match seeking to end their club-record 25-game run without a Bundesliga clean sheet. That could prove challenging, though, as Bochum have scored in each of their last 21 top-flight home matches, the longest current run of any team in the division.

Die Kraichgauer have lost five of their last nine meetings with Bochum, but they did come out on top in the aforementioned reverse fixture and will complete their first league double over the Blues if they claim all three points on Friday.

VfL Bochum Bundesliga form:

Hoffenheim Bundesliga form:

Team News

Bochum will be without Michael Esser, Moritz Kwarteng, Mohammed Tolba (all knee) and Niclas Thiede (broken finger) due to injury, while Takuma Asano is doubtful after coming off against Wolfsburg last time out with a thigh problem.

Christopher Antwi-Adjei and Patrick Osterhage will both serve one-match suspensions due to an accumulation of yellow cards, and the latter could be replaced in the first XI by Ivan Ordets, which would allow Erhan Masovic to move from centre-back into a defensive-midfield position.

The potential absence of Asano could see Maximilian Wittek handed a start in attack alongside Matus Bero and Philipp Hofmann, who has only scored three goals all season but two of those have come across his last two home appearances.

As for Hoffenheim, Mergim Berisha and Marco John remain sidelined with knee injuries, and Stanley Nsoki is nursing a hip problem, while Dennis Geiger will have a groin issue assessed ahead of kickoff.

Matarazzo is unlikely to make too many changes, if any, to his starting lineup, with Ozan Kabak, Florian Grillitsch and Tim Drexler all set to continue in the back three as Pavel Kaderabek and Robert Skov operate as wing-backs.

Maximilian Beier, who has netted a team-high 13 goals this term, will be looking to end a three-game goal drought and is expected to be joined in attack by Andrej Kramaric and Wout Weghorst, who has contributed to five goals (two goals, three assists) in his last four games.

VfL Bochum possible starting lineup:
Riemann; Passlack, Ordets, Schlotterbeck, Bernardo; Losilla, Masovic, Stoger; Bero, Hofmann, Wittek

Hoffenheim possible starting lineup:
Baumann; Kabak, Grillitsch, Drexler; Kaderabek, Promel, Tohumcu, Skov; Kramaric; Weghorst, Beier

We say: VfL Bochum 3-2 Hoffenheim

Only basement club Darmstadt (72) have conceded more goals than both Bochum and Hoffenheim (60 each) in the Bundesliga this season, and goalmouth action at both ends of the pitch is to be expected on Friday.

The two teams still have something to play for at this late stage of the campaign, and although Hoffenheim will be regarded as slight favourites for this contest, we believe that Bochum, who have been stronger on home soil this term, may find a way to come out on top and enhance their survival hopes.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Premier League Table
CBayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen34286089246590
3Bayern MunichBayern34233894454972
4RB Leipzig34198777393865
5Borussia DortmundDortmund34189768432563
6Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt34111495150147
9Werder Bremen34119144854-642
13Mainz 05Mainz34714133951-1235
14Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach34713145667-1134
15Union BerlinUnion Berlin3496193358-2533
16VfL BochumVfL Bochum34712154274-3233
RFC Koln34512172860-3227
RSV Darmstadt 98Darmstadt3438233086-5617
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