When VfL Bochum plays host to FC Koln on Sunday, they will be seeking to win for the first time this season to avoid suffering their first loss. Koln, on the other hand, had their streak of victories come to an end when they were defeated by Union Berlin in their most recent match at home.
Match Preview: VfL Bochum vs FC Koln
Bochum has dropped significantly from placing 13th in their first season back in Germany’s top division in 2009. Six consecutive losses have put them four points below the bottom, so they’ll be last regardless of how they do against Koln on Sunday.
Last time out, they lost 3-1 against newly-promoted Schalke 04, one of their biggest relegation opponents. Philipp Hofmann’s second-half equalizer appeared to have earned them their first point of the season until Erhan Masovic’s late own goal.
Heiko Butscher was hired as the club’s temporary head coach on Monday, replacing Thomas Reis. The 42-year-old has been in this situation twice previously and can stake a claim for the permanent job with a win before the international break.
Koln lost their first Bundesliga game of the season last weekend, 1-0 to Union Berlin. Timo Hubers’ third-minute own goal made it an uphill battle for Steffen Baumgart’s side.
It allows Union Berlin to sit deep and hit them in behind, a tactic they are highly proficient at given their solid defensive organization and two pacey, talented forwards in Jordan Siebatcheu and Sheraldo Becker.
Koln never came close to defeating Lennart Grill, and Luca Kilian’s 81st-minute expulsion ended their prospects. The Billy Goats beat FC Slovacko 4-2 in Europa League on Thursday. Sargis Adamyan and Florian Dietz put his team up 2-0 at halftime, but two fast goals startled the hosts.
Baumgart’s team moved to the top of Group D with Dejan Ljubicic’s brace. The 50-year-old will try to hand Bochum its sixth consecutive loss on Sunday, which may put his team in the top four heading into the international break.
Team News: VfL Bochum vs FC Koln
Paul Grave, Dominique Heintz, Kostas Stafylidis, and Jacek Goralski will all still be out for Bochum on Sunday owing to injuries.
There’s a chance Butscher may make some changes in what might be his last game in charge, with Gerrit Holtmann likely to return to the starting lineup after being shockingly benched in the loss to Schalke.
After suffering a catastrophic injury in Gelsenkirchen, Takuma Asano has decided to leave the squad. The Koln team will be without Kilian because he must sit out this week after receiving a red card last weekend.
His replacement, Nikola Soldo, who began the previous Wednesday, should take his spot. The 21-year-old was one of five substitutions made for the match against the Czech team, with Hubers and Ellyes Skhiri likely to regain their starting spots.
Injuries prevent the participation of Julian Chabot, Mathias Olesen, Dimitrios Limnios, Mark Uth, and Sebastian Andersson.
- Potential First Day Lineup for VfL Bochum: Riemann, Gamboa, Masovic, Lampropoulos, Soares, Stoger, Losilla, Forster, Zoller, Hofmann, Holtmann.
- Possible First Day Lineup for FC Koln: Schwabe, Schmitz, Soldo, Hubers, Hector, Martel, Skhiri, Adamyan, Ljubicic, Kainz, Dietz.
Our Prediction: VfL Bochum 1-2 FC Koln
On Thursday, Baumgart shuffled the outfield positions for half of his squad in preparation for the weekend’s game in Bochum. This should assist his team to maintain its energy level over the weekend.
As a result, it is difficult to see the home team escaping yet another loss, and their only hope is that Butscher can inspire a good response from the players after the management change that took place earlier in the week.