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Sep 26, 2021 at 2.30pm UK
VfL BochumVfL Bochum

Bella-Kotchap (38'), Masovic (75')

Sosa (14'), Klimowicz (19'), Al Ghaddioui (43'), Endo (58'), Coulibaly (63')

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

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

Two Bundesliga sides struggling at the wrong end of the table will lock horns on Sunday afternoon when VfL Bochum welcome Stuttgart to the Vonovia Ruhrstadion.

Defensive frailties have been a problem for both clubs so far this campaign, with a combined 25 goals conceded between them in just the opening five matches.

Match preview

VfL Bochum have yet to adjust to life back in the Bundesliga for the first time in 11 years and they were certainly given a footballing lesson last weekend, when league leaders Bayern Munich condemned Thomas Reis's men to a 7-0 defeat at the Allianz Arena, their heaviest loss in the top flight.

The 31-time Bundesliga champions were 4-0 up at half time thanks to strikes from Leroy Sane, Joshua Kimmich, Serge Gnabry as well as an own goal from Vasilis Lampropoulos. Kimmich scored his second after the break, while Robert Lewandowski and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting also got in on the act to help the hosts cruise to a commanding victory on home soil.

That result for Bochum unsurprisingly means that they, along with basement club Greuther Furth, have conceded the most goals (13) in the German top flight so far this season. Reis's men sit 17th in the table but are only one point adrift from safety and just one point behind Sunday's opponents Stuttgart.

Die Unabsteigbaren have won only one of their last 15 games against Stuttgart across all competitions, a 2-0 win in the DFB-Pokal during the 2014-15 season.

After such a heavy defeat last weekend, Reis is now tasked with motivating his players for their next game at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion, which could be considered a crucial six-pointer even at such an early stage of this season.

Like Bochum, Stuttgart were also beaten last weekend as they suffered a 3-1 defeat at home against 10-man Bayer Leverkusen.

The visitors were two goals in front after just 19 minutes thanks to strikes from Robert Andrich and Patrick Schick, before Andrich was shown a straight red card just after the half-hour mark for a high challenge on Tanguy Coulibaly.

Stuttgart were handed a lifeline when Orel Mangala, starting his first game in six months, pulled one back seven minutes before half time. However, Leverkusen restored their two-goal cushion when Florian Wirtz ran through on goal and buried his finish in the bottom right corner with 20 minutes left to play.

Pellegrino Matarazzo's side have claimed just four points from their opening five Bundesliga matches, half as many as they accumulated at this stage last season.

Stuttgart's defensive frailties at the backend of last season have been carried over to this term, as they have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last 12 Bundesliga matches.

However, they were able to prevent Bochum from scoring in their last meeting in the Bundesliga 2, when they secured a narrow 1-0 win away from home in February 2020.

Victory for Matarazzo's men on Sunday could see them move three points above the relegation zone and into the top half of the table.

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

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

Stuttgart Bundesliga form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L

Stuttgart form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L

Team News

Bochum will be without Simon Zoller (knee), Cristian Gamboa (elbow), Takuma Asano (groin), Luis Hartwig (groin), Maxim Leitsch (muscle) and Paul Grave (shoulder) due to injury.

Despite suffering a heavy defeat to Bayern Munich last time out, Reis is unlikely to make too many changes to his starting lineup.

Sebastian Polter is set to lead the line once again and could be supported in attack by wingers Milos Pantovic and Gerrit Holtmann.

As for Stuttgart, star striker Sasa Kalajdzic remains out with a shoulder problem while Philipp Forster (illness), Mohamed Sankoh (knee), Momo Cisse (ankle), Lilian Egloff (ankle) and Silas Katompa Mvumpa (knee) are also unavailable due to injury.

Japanese internationals Hiroki Ito and Wataru Endo are set to start again in central defence and centre-midfield respectively, while Mangala could keep his place in the number 10 role, just behind strikers Coulibaly and Omar Marmoush.

VfL Bochum possible starting lineup:
Riemann; Stafylidis, Lampropoulos, Bella-Kotchap, Soares; Losilla, Tesche; Pantovic, Rexhbecaj, Holtmann; Polter

Stuttgart possible starting lineup:
Muller; Kempf, Karazor, Mavropanos; Massimo, Karazor, Endo, Sosa; Mangala; Coulibaly, Marmoush

We say: VfL Bochum 2-3 Stuttgart

Both Bochum and Stuttgart have struggled defensively so far this campaign and we can see the forwards from both sides enjoying a productive afternoon in front of goal.

The visitors will be the slight favourites for Sunday's clash and we can see them securing a narrow victory in an entertaining contest at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:data

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10Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach7313910-110
13Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt7151810-28
14Hertha Berlin7205820-126
16Arminia Bielefeld7043310-74
17VfL BochumVfL Bochum7115416-124
18Greuther Furth7016519-141
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