Germany: Bundesliga
FT
2 - 2
(1 - 0)
Bochum
Darmstadt
P. Hofmann (29), P. Hofmann (48)
T. Skarke (62), O. Vilhelmsson (76)
By Ben Sully@SullyBen

Bochum vs. Darmstadt preview: Two struggling teams face off

Bochum and Darmstadt will both be desperate to claim all three points when they face off at the Ruhrstadion.

Bochum


Bochum went into the international break off the back of a four-game losing run, which began with a heavy 5-2 defeat against Borussia Mönchengladbach. They went on to lose home games against RB Leipzig and Freiburg, before falling to a 2-0 defeat in their away meeting with Mainz 05.

Having taken just 25 points from 26 matches, Thomas Letsch’s side are currently languishing in 15th place. Crucially, Bochum boast a sizeable five-point cushion with eight matches left to play in the Bundesliga season.

After conceding at least two goals in their last five matches, Bochum know they must improve defensively if they are to move up the table. In fact, they currently have the second-worst defensive record in the top flight, having shipped a total of 54 league goals.

The visitors will have the chance to complete a league double over Darmstaft after winning 2-1 when the two sides in November’s reverse fixture.
Team News

The hosts are expected to be without the sevices of Niclas Thiede, Mohammed Tolba, Danilo Soares and Michael Esser. As for Moritz-Broni Kwarteng, he will serve the final match of a three-game ban.

Darmstadt


Darmstadt are drifting towards an immediate return to the second tier, having collected just 13 points from their 26 matches. The basement side have gone 14 league games without a win since beating Augsburg 2-1 in October. They went into the international break off the back of a three-game losing run, including a 5-2 defeat in their most recent outing against Bayern Munich.

As a result of their poor form, die Lilien are currently seven points adrift of the playoff spot and 12 points away from safety altogether. With eight games left to play, Darmstadt will need to produce something special over the next two months if they are to preserve their top-flight status.

Having shipped 65 league goals this season, Darmstadt currently have the worst defensive record in the Bundesliga. They have also struggled at the other end of the pitch, scoring just 26 goals in as many games – only three teams have registered fewer goals this term.

They will hope that they can produce a resolute display, and claim their third league win of the season this weekend.
Team News

The visitors are unable to call upon Fabian Holland, Klaus Gjasula, Fabian Nürnberger, Fabio Torsiello, Marvin Mehlem and Fraser Hornby. Bartol Franjic will serve a one-match suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards, while Lucas Pfeiffer is a doubt.

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