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Dec 4, 2021 at 2.30pm UK
VfL BochumVfL Bochum
Gregoritsch (57'), Caligiuri (86' pen.)
FT(HT: 0-3)
Polter (23', 45+2'), Holtmann (40')
Soares (36'), Rexhbecaj (87')

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

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

Augsburg will be looking to extend their unbeaten home run in the Bundesliga to five matches with a victory on Saturday, when they welcome VfL Bochum to the WWK Arena.

The two teams played against each other in the second round of the DFB-Pokal just over a month ago, with Bochum winning 5-4 on penalties after an entertaining 2-2 draw in 120 minutes.

Match preview

Augsburg followed up their brilliant 2-1 victory at home against perennial champions Bayern Munich with a 1-1 draw away against Hertha Berlin last weekend.

Robert Gumny's misjudgement on the edge of his own penalty area allowed Marco Richter to break the deadlock five minutes before half time, and after Hertha had two more goals disallowed in the second half, the hosts were then stunned in the 97th minute when Augsburg's Michael Gregoritsch headed in a dramatic equaliser to take a point away from the German capital.

Despite claiming a point, Markus Weinzierl's men have slipped down into the relegation playoff place by goal difference, following Stuttgart's win against Mainz.

Augsburg will now be looking to climb away from danger and extend their unbeaten Bundesliga run to three matches for the first time since October 2020, when they lock horns with Bochum on Saturday.

However, Die Fuggerstadter have a poor home record against newly-promoted teams, failing to win any of their last 14 top-flight games against them at the WWK Arena – the longest run in the competition's history.

VfL Bochum have experienced a mixed return to the top flight so far this campaign, and have clearly favoured playing in front of their own supporters.

Die Unabsteigbaren have claimed 13 of their 16 Bundesliga points on home soil, winning four of their six matches at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion, including last weekend's 2-1 victory against Freiburg which was their third in succession.

In stark contrast, Thomas Reis's men have lost six of their seven games on the road, conceding 16 goals in the process, albeit seven were against Bayern Munich in September.

Bochum's inconsistent form unsurprisingly sees them sitting mid-table in the Bundesliga, though they are just three points above Saturday's opponents Augsburg in the bottom three.

With four wins from their last six league matches under their belt, Reis's side will be confident of success this weekend, and securing three points could see them move into the top half of the table for the first time since August.

Augsburg Bundesliga form:
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D

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

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

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

Team News

Augsburg will be without Reece Oxford (muscle), Alfred Finnbogason (hip), Tim Civeja (groin), Tobias Strobl (ACL), Noah Sarenren Bazee (knee) and Felix Uduokhai (tendon) due to injury, while Jeffrey Gouweleeuw is unavailable with COVID-19.

With several absentees, Weinzierl is unlikely to make too many changes, if any, to his starting lineup, with the likes of Ruben Vargas, Andre Hahn and Andi Zeqiri all set to retain their places.

As for Bochum, Saulo Decarli and Paul Grave remain out with shoulder injuries, while Patrick Osterhage (muscle) and Simon Zoller (ACL) are also on the treatment table.

Goalkeeper Manuel Riemann, who missed a penalty in the 2-0 win against Hoffenheim last month, is doubtful with a hamstring problem but should be able to play between the sticks this weekend.

Forward Danny Blum also remains doubtful with a thigh strain, so attacking trio Takuma Asano, Sebastian Polter and Gerrit Holtmann could retain their places in the first XI.

Augsburg possible starting lineup:
Gikiewicz; Caligiuri, Gumny, Winther, Iago; Vargas, Maier, Dorsch, Pedersen; Zeqiri, Hahn

VfL Bochum possible starting lineup:
Riemann; Stafylidis, Masovic, Lambropoulos, Soares; Lowen, Losilla, Rexhbecaj; Asano, Polter, Holtmann

We say: Augsburg 2-1 VfL Bochum

A closely-fought contest between two sides separated by just three points in the table is set to be played out on Saturday, with both teams at risk of finishing the weekend in the bottom three if they fail to win.

When taking into account Augsburg's decent home form as well as Bochum's miserable away record, we can see the hosts securing all three points at the WWK Arena.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 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.Under 2.5:data

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