Hoffenheim will be hoping that they can remain firmly in the fight for the Champions League places with a victory on Saturday, but they must overcome a Bochum side who will feel that they are a win away from guaranteeing their Bundesliga status.
|Sebastian Hoeness.||Photo: TSG Hoffenheim|
Hoffenheim have collected just a point from their last two matches, and the Champions League hopefuls will know that they cannot afford to drop any more points on Saturday.
Although the point was picked up in impressive fashion as Hoffenheim held Bayern Munich to a 1-1 draw before they suffered a demoralising 3-0 defeat to Hertha BSC, who won for the first time in 2022.
That defeat left Hoffenheim in fifth position, but they remain firmly in the hunt for a top-four place with just a single point separating them from a Champions League spot.
They may have not scored in their most recent fixture, but Sebastian Hoeneß’s side do enter Saturday’s contest as the fifth-highest scorers in the Bundesliga, while they have also scored in 12 of their 13 home league matches this season
The hosts will head into the contest in a confident mood after avoiding defeat in their last three home matches, while they also boast the fifth-best home record in the Bundesliga.
Stefan Posch, Robert Skov and Ermin Bicakcic are all set to miss out, while Benjamin Hübner is a doubt due to a back problem.
Bochum, meanwhile, will feel that their Bundesliga status is far from secure, with six points separating them from the relegation zone.
They also enter Saturday’s contest in poor form after losing their last two matches, with a 2-1 away defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt followed by a 2-0 loss to Borussia Mönchengladbach.
The most recent defeat was particularly sobering as the game was completed early after a Bochum supporter threw a plastic beer cup at one of the assistant referees.
An away trip on Saturday won’t inspire much confidence in the Bochum dressing room, with the visitors tending to struggle on the road this term. Thomas Reis’ side are have won just two of their 13 away matches, with Saturday’s visitors winless in their last five away trips.
Goals have been the issue for Bochum on their travels, as no side has scored fewer goals than Reis’ charges in the Bundesliga this season, while they have failed to score in six of their 13 away games.
Armel Bella-Kotchap will serve a one-match suspension for the visitors, due to an accumulation of yellow cards, while Patrick Osterhage, Milos Pantovic and Robert Tesche are expected to miss out.