Germany: Bundesliga
FT
1 - 1
(0 - 0)
Bochum
Heidenheim
K. Schlotterbeck (81), K. Schlotterbeck (90)
By Ben Sully@SullyBen

Bochum vs. Heidenheim preview: Can the hosts halt their slide?

Bochum will attempt to end a six-game winless run when they play host to Heidenheim on Saturday.

Bochum

Bochum have experienced a disastrous run of form since recording a notable 3-2 win over Bayern Munich on February 18. Rather than build upon that remarkable result, Bochum have gone on to take just one point from their next six matches. Die Unabsteigbaren looked set to return to winning ways in last Saturday’s away clash with Köln after entering the closing stages with a narrow lead thanks to Felix Passlack’s opener. However, they ultimately conceded two late goals to leave them with nothing to show for their efforts.

That result ultimately proved to be the final game of Thomas Letsch’s tenure. The 55-year-old was relieved of his duties and subsequently replaced by Heiko Butscher, who steps up from his role with the academy side to oversee first-team affairs until the end of the season.

Butscher will take charge of a side that is languishing in 15th place and just three points clear of the relegation playoff spot. They are also four points clear of Köln, who currently occupy 17th position in the Bundesliga table.

Despite experiencing a poor run of results, Bochum may be confident about picking up a positive result this weekend, having avoided defeat in each of their last six meetings with Heidenheim in November (W5, D1).

Team News

The hosts are unable to call upon Michael Esser, Niclas Thiede, Danilo Soares, Mohammed Tolba, Gonçalo Paciência and Moritz Kwarteng.

Heidenheim

In contrast to their hosts, Heidenheim will head into the weekend in a buoyant mood after producing a stunning comeback against Bayern Munich last Saturday. Frank Schmidt’s side trailed by two goals at the break following efforts from Harry Kane and Serge Gnabry. However, Heidenheim flew out of the blocks in the second period, with Kevin Sessa and Tim Kleindienst grabbing a goal apiece to pull their side level. Kleindienst went on to find the winner in the 79th minute to help Heidenheim become the first newly promoted club to beat Bayern in Bundesliga history.

They can certainly be pleased with their overall efforts this season, having picked up 33 points from 28 matches to leave them in 10th position. With three points separating them from the three teams above them, Heidenheim still have a realistic chance of finishing as high as seventh place.

However, their current focus will be on Saturday’s contest, where they will attempt to beat Bochum in a competitive game for the first time since September 2018.

Team News

The visitors are expected without Thomas Keller and Elidon Qenaj. Nikola Dovedan will miss out through suspension, while Adrian Beck is a doubt due to an ankle issue.

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