Germany: Bundesliga
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P. Hofmann (71), P. Förster (90)
E. N'Dicka (87)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Bochum lose Stöger to COVID, Frankfurt likely to get Götze back

VfL Bochum's hopes for their first league win grew dimmer as squad news for both Bochum and Frankfurt filtered in early Thursday evening. 

Oliver Glasner's Eintracht should get Mario Götze back while Bochum will be without on of their most influential midfielders. 
VfL Bochum confirmed that the cold-like symptoms keeping influential and versatile midfielder Kevin Stöger out of training were, in fact, related to a positive COVID test. The 29-year-old--who had been one of the few bright spots for the 1848ers amid a disastrous start to the campaign--will definitely be unavailable against Eintracht Frankfurt this weekend.

New VfL trainer Thomas Letsch is already missed attacker Takuma Asano (ligament tear), Dominique Heintz (muscular issues), and striker Lys Mousset (ill) in his quest to deliver Bochum their first win of the season. The recently appointed offer did his best to put a positive spin on matters during his Thursday presser.

"Kevin fights hard for the [midfield] balls and can play decisive passes," Letsch noted, "To replace him one-to-one, that's not possible. You have to adapt your game a bit. But we have the idea for that."

Letsch dropped strong hints that his "solution" would be to make the most of Konstantinos Stafylidis' return, possibly deploying the Greek ahead of the defensive line as a bolt-lock sweeper. No matter what sort of construct Letsch and his staff devise for Saturday's match, the coach stressed that his squad would need to "get the fans behind us quickly" in what will be the new trainer's first home match before the Castroper crowd.

If there is any hope for Bochum, it relates to the fact the Eintracht might be a little tired and thin in-between tough Europa League fixtures against Tottenham Hotspur. The German Eagles will be without their talismanic lead-striker Randal Kolo Muani after the Frenchman was sent off on double yellows in the last league match. At his own Thursday press conference, SGE trainer Oliver Glasner didn't reveal whether Rafael Santos Borré or Lucas Alario (or even possibly both) would replace Muani.

Glasner did drop strong hints that Mario Götze would be back after ankle problems forced him off the pitch last Saturday against 1. FC Union Berlin and the German World Cup hero had to sit out Tuesday's UCL clash against Spurs. While adding the qualifier that Götze would play "if he's at 100 percent", Glasner had nothing negative to report about the 30-year-old's return to full team training.

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