Germany: Bundesliga
FT
3 - 2
(2 - 0)
Bochum
Hoffenheim
K. Stöger (34), F. Passlack (45), K. Stöger (64)
A. Kramarić (73), A. Kramarić (84)
By Ben Sully@SullyBen

Bochum vs. Hoffenheim preview: Can the hosts claim three crucial points?

Relegation-threatened Bochum will attempt to claim their first win in over two months when they play host to Hoffenheim on Friday.

Bochum

Bochum suffered a narrow defeat in last Saturday’s away clash with Wolfsburg. Patrick Osterhage saw his effort chalked off following a VAR review, before Wolfsburg’s Jonas Wind scored what proved to be the only goal of the game. A 1-0 defeat combined with Mainz’s draw against Freiburg saw Bochum drop into the relegation playoff spot on matchday 30.

Die Unabsteigbaren have now drawn two and lost five of their seven matches since they claimed a memorable 3-2 win over Bayern Munich on February 18. Heiko Butscher's side will be desperate to enjoy a positive run of results in their final four matches against Hoffenheim, Union Berlin, Bayer Leverkusen and Werder Bremen.

Friday’s hosts can take confidence from the fact they have won each of their last three home games against Hoffenheim, including a resounding 5-2 victory in last season’s clash at the Vonovia-Ruhrstadion.

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Bochum are unable to call upon Niclas Thiede, Moritz-Broni Kwarteng, Danilo Soares, Michael Esser and Mohammed Tolba. Tim Oermann is sidelined due to illness, while Christopher Antwi-Adjei and Osterhage are both suspended.

Hoffenheim

Hoffenheim will head into Friday’s contest in a positive mood after they prevailed in last Saturday’s seven-goal thriller against Borussia Mönchengladbach.  Wout Weghorst saw his opener cancelled out by Robin Hack, before Grischa Prömel and Ozan Kabak grabbed a goal apiece to give Hoffenheim a 3-1 lead. However, die Kraichgauer looked to have blown their chance to claim all three points when Hack netted on two more occasions to complete his hat-trick and put Gladbach on level terms. To Hoffenheim’s delight, there proved to be one final twist, as Anton Stach netted a stoppage-time winner to snatch all three points.

With four games left to play, Pellegrino Matarazzo’s side are sitting in ninth place with 39 points to their name. Hoffenheim will struggle to close the six-point gap to the top six, but they are just one point adrift of seventh position, which could become a European qualification spot.

Hoffenheim’s current focus will be on Friday’s fixture, where they will attempt to end a run of three consecutive away defeats. They will also be keen to produce a strong defensive performance after conceding at least two goals in each of their previous nine Bundesliga matches.

Team News

The visitors are without Stanley Nsoki, Marco John, Mergim Berisha, Bambasé Conté and Dennis Geiger.

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