Bochum will attempt to claim their first win of the 2023-24 campaign when they face Darmstadt on Friday.
|Thomas Letsch||VfL Bochum|
Darmstadt will still be reeling from last weekend’s demoralising 8-0 defeat to perennial champions Bayern Munich. The newly-promoted side would have fancied their chances of claiming a positive result when Joshua Kimmich was sent off in the fourth minute, but those hopes were dashed by two red cards of their own. Klaus Gjasula and Anton Maglica were both given their marching orders before the break, ensuring Bayern Munich had the numerical advantage for the second period. It proved to be a disastrous second 45 minutes for Darmstadt, as Bayern racked up eight goals courtesy of a Harry Kane hat-trick as well as braces from Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala.
As a result of the heavy defeat, Darmstadt slipped down to 14th position, leaving them two points clear of Friday’s opponents, who currently occupy the relegation playoff spot. Die Lilien also hold the worst defensive record in the top flight after shipping 30 goals in their nine league matches.
Although they lost their most recent home game against RB Leipzig, Darmstadt will be quietly confident about picking up at least a point from Friday's contest, having avoided defeat in their last three competitive home meetings with Bochum (W1, L2).
Braydon Manu, Fabio Torsiello and Aaron Seydel are expected to miss out through injury. Gjasula and Maglica are both suspended following their red cards last weekend.
Bochum have struggled in the opening few months of the Bundesliga season, having drawn five and lost four of their nine league matches. Their long wait for a win looked set to end on Saturday when they established a 2-1 lead against Mainz thanks to a Kevin Stöger penalty and a Keven Schlotterbeck effort. However, Mainz midfielder Tom Krauß struck in the 96th minute to cruelly deny Bochum a precious victory.
While Bochum would have been disappointed to miss out on three points, they can draw inspiration from the fact they scored more than one goal in a game for the first time since a 2-2 draw with Augsburg on September 2.
Thomas Letsch’s side will now head on their travels for their first meeting with Darmstadt since April 2021. Having failed to win any of their last nine Bundesliga away games, Bochum will attempt to claim their first away victory since beating FC Köln in March.
Matus Bero, Michael Esser and Mohammed Tolba are all ruled out with knee injuries. The visitors are also unable to call upon Moritz Römling, Christopher Antwi-Adjei, Ivan Ordets, Jordi Osei-Tutu and Lys Mousset.