Germany: Bundesliga
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By Ben Sully@SullyBen

Stuttgart vs. Bochum preview: Can coachless Stuttgart claim their first victory?

The bottom two sides in the Bundesliga will face off on Saturday when Stuttgart welcome Bochum to the Mercedes-Benz Arena.


Stuttgart will head into Saturday's contest without a head coach after Pellegrino Matarazzo was relieved of his duties following a 1-0 defeat to Union Berlin last weekend.

Matarazzo leaves the club in the relegation zone with only five points to their name. Michael Wimmer has taken charge on a temporary basis, while Stuttgart continue their search for a new manager. The interim boss is tasked with guiding Die Schwaben to their first victory of the season.

While Stuttgart have only kept one clean in the Bundesliga this term, they are also struggling in the final third. Only Bochum have registered fewer league goals than the nine Stuttgart have scored, and Saturday's hosts are yet to score more than one goal in a home game this season.

Wimmer will be hoping to lead his side to victory, but a draw would at least move Stuttgart out of the automatic relegation places and into the playoff position.
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Serhou Guirassy will miss out after being sent off last weekend, while Atakan Karazor is also suspended due to yellow card accumulation. Meanwhile, Josh Vagnoman remains sidelined with an ankle injury.


While the hosts are searching for a new head coach, Bochum are in the early stages of Thomas Letsch's tenure. Appointed in September, Letsch took over a side that had collected one point from their opening seven matches.

A 4-0 defeat to RB Leipzig in his first game in charge highlighted the difficult task that faced Letsch, but he demonstrated he is more than up to the challenge against Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend. The Bochum boss led his new side to their first win of the season in style after Philipp Hofmann and Phillip Forster scored either side of an Evan Ndicka own goal to claim a memorable 3-0 home victory over Eintracht Frankfurt.

Although Bochum are still rooted to the bottom of the table, like their hosts, they can move out of the automatic relegation places if they can win on Saturday.

They will certainly head into the contest in a confident mood after picking up three points against Frankfurt, but they are still searching for their first away points of the season. Bochum have lost all four of their Bundesliga away games this term by a combined 11-3 scoreline.

The visitors drew 1-1 in their previous away meeting with Stuttgart, and although they will be dreaming of recording consecutive victories, they may be content with taking a point from Saturday's contest.
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Bochum are unable to call upon Takuma Asano and Paul Grave, while summer signing Lys Mousset is a doubt after failing to appear for his new club this season.

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