Bochum vs Hoffenheim preview:
Can the visitors end their winless run?
By Ben Sully @SullyBen
After failing to win any of their last eight league matches, Hoffenheim will attempt to return to winning ways when they face Bochum on Saturday.
|Photo: Богдан Заяц, Football.ua, CC BY-SA 3.0|
Although Bochum have improved under Thomas Letsch, their away form continues to be their downfall. In their last two matches, Bochum have lost away to Bayer Leverkusen and Mainz 05, leaving them in the relegation playoff position.
Bochum conceded three goals inside the opening 30 minutes against Mainz last weekend, and they let in a fourth by the hour mark. Although goals from Pierre Kunde and Erhan Mašović halved the deficit, Karim Onisiwo scored late on to wrap up his hat-trick and condemn Bochum to a 5-2 defeat.
Die Unabsteigbaren have now lost nine of their 10 away league games this season, so they will be grateful to return to the Vonovia Ruhrstadion this weekend. Bochum have won their last four home matches in the Bundesliga, scoring at least two goals in each of those victories, and they will be aiming to claim a fifth consecutive home win on Saturday.
Bochum are unable to call upon the services of Michael Esser, Cristian Gamboa and Paul Grave due to injury issues.
André Breitenreiter will be aware that his position as Hoffenheim boss is coming under scrutiny following a poor run of results. Hoffenheim are currently winless in eight league games, while they have won only one of their previous 12 matches in the Bundesliga.
In their most recent outing, they were thumped 4-1 at home by Borussia Mönchengladbach. Ihlas Bebou pulled a goal back in the 80th minute after Gladbach took a two-goal lead thanks to a Jonas Hofmann brace, but Lars Stindl and Hannes Wolf both found the net to wrap up a comfortable win for Daniel Farke's side.
Hoffenheim have now lost five of their last six league games, and as a result, they occupy 13th position - just three points above Saturday's opponents. Saturday's visitors may be able to draw inspiration from the fact that they recorded a 3-2 victory over Bochum earlier this season.
Pavel Kaderabek, Angelo Stiller, Grischa Prömel, Jacob Bruun Larsen, Robert Skov and Kevin Vogt are all sidelined for the visitors. Meanwhile, Thomas Delaney could make his debut for Hoffenheim after joining on loan from Sevilla.