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Nov 6, 2021 at 2.30pm UK
VfL BochumVfL Bochum
Novothny (66'), Pantovic (90+7')
Stafylidis (53')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Posch (29'), Vogt (38'), Grillitsch (73'), Kramaric (75'), Rudy (78')

Preview: VfL Bochum vs. Hoffenheim - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: VfL Bochum vs. Hoffenheim - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between VfL Bochum and Hoffenheim, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Hoffenheim will have the chance to move into the top four of the Bundesliga if they can claim all three points away against Vfl Bochum on Saturday afternoon.

This will be the first top-flight meeting between these two sides since Die Unabsteigbaren secured a 2-1 victory on home soil 11 years ago.

Match preview

VfL Bochum's three-game winning streak across all competitions came to an end last weekend, when they were beaten 2-1 away against Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga.

First-half strikes from Alassane Plea and Jonas Hoffman gave the hosts a two-goal lead heading into half time, which they were able to hold onto until Danny Blum pulled one back for the visitors in the 86th minute, though that strike was not enough for Die Unabsteigbaren to claim any points.

Two victories in their previous two league games against Furth and Eintracht Frankfurt helped Thomas Reis's men climb out of the relegation zone, though they remain in a precarious position with just one point separating them from Augsburg in 16th place.

Bochum have performed much better on home soil so far this campaign, accumulating seven of their 10 points at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion. Die Unabsteigbaren have managed to keep a clean sheet in three of their four home matches and have conceded just three times, the joint fewest in the division along with Mainz.

Victory on Saturday for VfL would see them record three Bundesliga home wins from their opening five matches for the first time since 2003-04.

Hoffenheim secured their fourth successive home victory across all competitions when they beat Hertha Berlin 2-0 in the Bundesliga last weekend.

First-half strikes from Andrej Kramaric and Sebastian Rudy helped Die Kraichgauer claim all three points, which has seen them climb into the top half of the table and move to within three points of Bayer Leverkusen in fourth place.

Hoffenheim head into Saturday's fixture after failing to win any of their last four top-flight games against newly-promoted teams – drawing and losing against Stuttgart as well as drawing twice against Arminia Bielefeld last season.

Sebastian Hoeness will be keen to see his side improve away from home, particularly in defence, after seeing Die Kraichgauer concede at least three goals in three of their last four Bundesliga away matches against Borussia Dortmund, Stuttgart and Bayern Munich.

Hoffenheim's last visit to the Vonovia Ruhrstadion ended in defeat, losing 2-1 to Bochum back in 2010, but a win this weekend could see them move into the European positions for the first time since August, if other league results were also to go in their favour.

VfL Bochum Bundesliga form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L

VfL Bochum form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

Hoffenheim Bundesliga form:
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W

Hoffenheim form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Team News

Bochum striker Simon Zoller, who began the campaign brightly with two goals and two assists in his first four matches, is ruled out for the rest of the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

The hosts will also be without Paul Grave (shoulder), Robert Tesche, Herbert Bockhorn (both hip), Maxim Leitsch, Luis Hartwig (both thigh) and Tom Weilandt (muscle) due to injury.

Reis is unlikely to make too many changes, if any, to his starting lineup, though experienced winger Blum will be hoping to force his way back into the side at the expense of either Takuma Asano or Gerrit Holtmann.

As for Hoffenheim, midfielder Angelo Stiller is set to miss out after suffering 'severe bruising' to his right ankle following a strong challenge from Hertha Berlin's Dedryck Boyata last weekend, a tackle which saw the defender sent off after a VAR review.

Stiller will join David Raum, Pavel Kaderabek (both ankle), Marco John (shoulder), Ermin Bicakcic (knee) and Benjamin Hubner (back) on the sidelines.

Hoeness is expected to stick with a three-man defence for the fourth successive league game, with Robert Skov set to continue in a more defensive left-flank position in the absence of Raum.

Rudy will likely drop back into a deeper midfield position – filling in for the injured Stiller – with Christoph Baumgartner set to start in the number 10 role behind central strikers Kramaric and Ihlas Bebou.

VfL Bochum possible starting lineup:
Riemann; Gamboa, Masovic, Lampropoulos, Soares; Lowen, Losilla, Rexhbecaj; Asano, Polter, Blum

Hoffenheim possible starting lineup:
Baumann; Posch, Grillitsch, Vogt; Akpoguma, Samassekou, Rudy, Skov; Baumgartner; Bebou, Kramaric

We say: VfL Bochum 2-2 Hoffenheim

A closely-fought contest is set to be played out at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion, with plenty of goalmouth action expected on Saturday.

Hoffenheim will be looking to put together a more consistent run of form and claim successive league wins for the first time this season, however we can see Bochum coming away with at least a point to continue their bright start on home soil.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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