Just one point separates Heidenheim and Bochum in the Bundesliga table ahead of Sunday’s clash at Voith-Arena.
Heidenheim, who currently occupy 13th place, may have been grateful to have a two-week break after they suffered five defeats in six competitive games before the international period. Their only win in that six-game block came against high-flying Stuttgart at the start of this month. Jan Schöppner and Tim Kleindienst grabbed a goal apiece to help their side claim a 2-0 win over die Schwaben.
However, it was always going to be difficult to back up that result in their final game before the international break against perennial champions Bayern Munich. Heidenheim showed great fight to come from two goals down against the Bavarians thanks to efforts from Kleindienst and Jan-Niklas Beste. However, Bayern’s extra quality ultimately came to the fore, as Raphaël Guerreiro and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting found the net in the final 20 minutes to condemn Frank Schmidt’s side to a 4-2 defeat.
The loss to Bayern ensures Heidenheim are still waiting for their first away league win of the season, having drawn one and lost five of their Bundesliga away matches. With that in mind, Heidneheim will be pleased to have home comforts this weekend, especially as they have won three of their last four league games at the Voith-Arena.
Thomas Keller and Elidon Qenaj are ruled out with a knee injury, while Marvin Pieringer is expected to miss out due to an ankle issue.
Having picked up nine points from 11 matches, Bochum head into the weekend in 14th place with two points separating them from the bottom three. Despite occupying a lowly position, Bochum have proven to be a tough team to beat in recent weeks, having won one and drawn two of their last three matches.
They began their unbeaten spell with a 2-2 draw against Mainz, before they edged out newly-promoted Darmstadt to record their first Bundesliga win of the season. Bochum went on to play out a 1-1 draw with Köln in their final game before the international break.
After beating Darmstadt in their most recent away trip, die Unabsteigbaren have the chance to win consecutive away games in the Bundesliga for the first time since the 2009-10 season. With Bochum targeting three points on Sunday, they will be able to draw inspiration from their recent record against Heidenheim, having won all five of their previous head-to-head meetings.
Matus Bero, Michael Esser, Danilo Soares and Mohammed Tolba are all sidelined with knee issues. Bochum are also unable to call upon Lys Mousset, Ivan Ordets and Jordi Osei-Tutu.