Germany: Bundesliga
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A. Pléa (55), B. Embolo (61)
By Ben Sully@SullyBen

Bochum vs Borussia Mönchengladbach preview: Can Gladbach claim back-to-back victories?

Bochum will be aiming to claim consecutive victories when they play host to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Friday, but the visitors will be reinvigorated after beating Hertha BSC last weekend.


Bochum will be slightly downbeat after suffering a 2-1 away defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend, despite grabbing the opener in that contest. A sluggish start to the second half allowed Frankfurt to score two quick goals, which Bochum ultimately could not find a response to.

Although the defeat will disappoint Thomas Reis, he can be pleased with his side's efforts in their first Bundesliga season since the 2009-10 campaign. Sitting nine points adrift of the relegation playoff spot, they will believe their place in the top flight is all but secure. Reis will be challenging his side to maintain their current position of 11th place, which would represent their best Bundesliga finishing position since the 2006-07 campaign.

They do return to home comforts on Friday evening, which will please a side that have lost just once in their last five home league games. In fact, the Vonovia Ruhrstadion has proven pivotal in Bochum's season, with 24 of their 32 points coming from home matches this term. Only the two Berlin sides and RB Leipzig have won in the Bundesliga at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion this season, highlighting how difficult Bochum can be to overhaul on home turf.
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Bochum will have to cope without the presence of their head coach in the dugout after Reis tested positive for COVID-19. In his place will be assistant coach Markus Gellhaus. In regards to the playing squad, the hosts are without Danny Blum, Cristian Gamboa, Miloš Pantović, Robert Tesche and Simon Zoller, while Jurgen Locadia is a doubt due to a hip problem.

Borussia Mönchengladbach

Gladbach will enter matchday 27 in a positive mindset after winning last weekend. An Alassane Pléa spot-kick and Matthias Ginter's first goal of the season helped Die Fohlen claim a crucial 2-0 victory over Hertha. Not only did it end a three-game winless run, but it helped alleviate Gladbach's relegation fears.

With seven points now the difference between them and the relegation playoff spot, Gladbach will believe that they are a win or two away from securing their place in the top-flight.

Although Adi Hütter's first season as Gladbach boss has been disappointing, to say the least, Die Fohlen can send their fans into the summer break with renewed positivity if they can finish the season in a strong manner.

Their challenge for Friday's contest will be to collect their third away league win of the season, which may prove a tough ask, as Gladbach are winless in their previous four away matches. They are also one of two teams who are still waiting for their first away league clean sheet of the season - the other side being Greuther Fürth who are propping up the Bundesliga table.

If Gladbach can claim three points it would represent a league double over Bochum after Die Fohlen won 2-1 at Borussia-Park in October.
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The visitors are also missing their head coach. Hütter missed the win over Hertha due to COVID-19 and he is still unavailable to return to the dugout. Hütter's absence will mean that Christian Peintinger will once again be deputising in the Gladbach dugout. Die Fohlen will be forced into a change in the centre of defence after Nico Elvedi tested positive for COVID-19, while Jonas Hofmann will miss out once again through injury. The visitors do, however, welcome back Ramy Bensebaïni back from suspension with the Algeria international set to start at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion.

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