Having shared the spoils with one win apiece last term, the teams were ultimately separated by four points in May - the visitors finishing five places above their hosts despite a woeful away record.
Following a busy pre-season schedule, which got under way at the end of June, Bochum prepared for their second season back in the big time by cruising to a comfortable cup triumph last weekend.
Two goals inside the first half-hour set the visitors on their way to a 3-0 victory over Viktoria Berlin, who ply their trade in the Regionalliga Nordost and only qualified for the DFB Pokal by winning the regional Berlin Cup.
Friendly wins over Serie A sides Lecce and Spezia also showed promise in recent weeks, and Bochum's warm-up programme concluded with a 6-2 crushing of Antalyaspor.
That surely bodes well for head coach Thomas Reis, who last season led the Ruhr club clear of relegation in their first Bundesliga campaign for 11 years - a 13th-place finish saw them closer in points terms to the top half than the bottom three.
They now reprise their opening match from this time last year, when Die Unabsteigbaren hosted Mainz in their first home game back in the top flight, winning 2-0 to set off on the right foot for a successful season.
Shortly after the winter break, Mainz gained revenge for that defeat at the Ruhrstadion by winning the reverse fixture 1-0 on home soil, where they were certainly more comfortable in 2021-22.
Days later, though, Die Nullfunfer were eliminated from the DFB-Pokal by this week's hosts back in Bochum; highlighting a frailty on the road that saw them claim just 11 away points in the Bundesliga - the second-worst record in the division.
Starting their most recent attempt to reach a first-ever Pokal final, Mainz travelled east to meet third-tier Erzgebirge Aue last Sunday, and a 3-0 win got their competitive campaign off to a smooth start.
Seeking to surpass their eighth-place finish of last term, Bo Svensson's side experienced a mixed bag of results during pre-season: winning a controversial clash with Newcastle United - which drew fierce opposition from fans due to the Toon's current ownership - in between losing to Besiktas and being held at home by Athletic Club.
Svensson has recruited midfielder Angelo Fulgini from Angers and Danish forward Marcus Ingvartsen during the summer break, but defensive mainstay Moussa Niakhate has departed for pastures new, joining the revolution at Premier League newcomers Nottingham Forest. Now, the Mainz manager will hope his new-look lineup can begin in better style than they managed last year.
While the latter is out with a hip problem, fellow left-back Horn will not be available after tearing a thigh muscle in the DFB-Pokal, shortly after completing his move from FC Cologne.
Right-back Saidy Janko was forced to deputise last week, but Konstantinos Stafylidis has now returned to training and should be fit enough to feature on the left side of a 4-2-3-1 formation; former Brentford striker Philipp Hofmann - who netted 19 times for Karlsruher last season - should start up front.
Meanwhile, Mainz will make some adjustments to their regular defensive line, too, as captain Moussa Niakhate left the club over the summer, so either Angola international Anderson Lucoqui or ex-Bochum man Maxim Leitsch could play on the left side of a back three.
Summer signing Marcus Ingvartsen - who recently made his transfer from Union Berlin permanent and penned a contract until 2025 - will battle it out with Jonathan Burkardt and Karim Onisiwo to form the front two.
VfL Bochum possible starting lineup:
Riemann; Gamboa, Ordets, Lampropoulos, Stafylidis; Losilla, Stoger; Asano, Zoller, Holtmann; Hofmann
Mainz 05 possible starting lineup:
Zentner; Bell, Hack, Leitsch; Widmer, Stach, Kohr, Lee, Martin; Onisiwo, Burkardt
We say: VfL Bochum 1-1 Mainz 05
After suffering two defeats in Bochum last season, Mainz should be steeled for the challenge ahead, and having conceded only once throughout pre-season and last week's cup win, they can take a point home from their opening fixture.
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