Borussia Dortmund and Bochum will face off on Saturday in an encounter that has been dubbed the 'little Rivierderby'. The reverse fixture ended in a 1-1 draw, and Bochum will be hoping to trouble their much larger neighbours on Saturday.
|Marco Rose.||Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0|
Borussia Dortmund may be looking forward to the summer break after they lost 3-1 to Bayern Munich last weekend, which secured the Bavarians their 10th consecutive Bundesliga title.
Marco Rose's first season in charge of Die Schwarzgelben has been slightly underwhelming with Dortmund unable to pick up any silverware this term, while they have also fallen well short of Bayern in the Bundesliga.
At least a point on Saturday would secure Dortmund the runners-up spot for the third time in the last four seasons.
Rose's side head into the weekend with the second best home record in the Bundesliga after winning 12 of their 15 league games at Signal Iduna Park. Dortmund are also yet to draw at home in the top flight this season, while they currently boast the best goalscoring record on home turf.
However, their recent home form in the league has been inconsistent, to say the least. In their last five Bundesliga matches at Signal Iduna Park, they have been on the end of a 5-2 and a 4-1 defeat, while they have picked up 6-0, 1-0 and 6-1 victories.
Those results are a microcosm of the inconsistency that has hampered Dortmund's chances of enjoying a successful season.
Although they will have to settle for second place, Saturday's hosts will be looking to send their fans into the summer break with something to cheer about, and a 'little Rivierderby' win would certainly help lift the mood.
To say Dortmund have quite a few injuries would be an understatement. Marius Wolf, Donyell Malen, Mahmoud Dahoud, Mats Hummels and Giovanni Reyna are among those that will miss Saturday's contest due to injury issues. Marwin Hitz will continue in goal in place of Gregor Kobel who is ruled out due to an ankle problem. Emre Can is also unavailable, with the 28-year-old suspended for an accumulation of yellow cards. In some more positive news, Alex Witsel is expected to return to the squad.
Bochum can be pleased with their efforts this term, with the 13th placed side set to extend their Bundesliga stay into a second season.
Despite avoiding an immediate return to the second tier, Bochum's form has tailed off in recent weeks as the campaign draws to a close. A goalless draw against Leverkusen was followed by a 3-0 defeat to Freiburg before Augsburg beat Thomas Reis' side 2-0 last weekend.
They have picked up 25 of their 36 points from home matches, so an away trip to Dortmund will not inspire too much optimism in the Bochum dressing room.
Ten of their 15 away league matches have ended in defeat, while in 2022, they have won just one of their six away contests. A failure to consistently find the net on their travels has played a part in their away day struggles with Bochum drawing a blank in seven of their 15 away games.
Danilo Soares is expected to be miss Saturday's contest due to a back problem, and the visitors are also unable to call upon the services of Kostas Stafylidis, who is suspended for the encounter.