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  • Anticipate the Showdown: VfL Bochum vs. Mainz 05 Preview | March 11th, 2024
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  • 13 March 2024

Anticipate the Showdown: VfL Bochum vs. Mainz 05 Preview | March 11th, 2024

When VfL Bochum plays Mainz 05 in the Bundesliga on Friday night, both teams will be eager to avoid the inevitable relegation slots.

After FC Koln stopped their own winless streak last weekend, these teams are the only ones still in the bottom two of Germany's top division without a victory this season.

Match preview

For the time being, Bochum can move above of Koln in the relegation playoff standings with a sixth draw in nine games, but Thomas Letsch will be requesting all three points at the Vonovia-Ruhrstadion on Friday.

After taking over as manager in September of last year, the 55-year-old won his first five home games in the Bundesliga, helping Bochum move up the table and finish the season two points above the relegation zone.

After suffering a 2-1 loss to Freiburg on the road last weekend, Die Unabsteigbaren have now equaled their undesirable record from the previous season, starting with a run of eight games without a win. Goncalo Paciencia had given the visitors the lead in the fifteenth minute, but goals from Vincenzo Grifo and Ritsu Doan were sufficient to give Christian Streich's team the win.

Bochum has forgotten what it feels like to win after losing on penalties to Arminia Bielefeld in the DFB-Pokal first round in their first competitive game of the season. However, a victory against Mainz, who is battling, would be enough to move them up to 13th place before the action on Saturday takes place.

Mainz, on the other hand, has played so brilliantly when Bo Svensson came over in January 2021 that they would not have predicted to be anchored to the foot of the league with only two points from eight games.

In his first half-season, their former star overcame the odds and led them out of relegation danger. He then went on to secure two consecutive top-half placings, ending eighth and ninth with a very acceptable total of 46 points each time.

Bayern Munich defeated Mainz handily at MEWA Arena last Saturday, as was to be anticipated. Just before halftime, Anthony Caci had pulled one back, but Leon Goretzka's goal shortly after the hour mark gave the Bavarians their two-goal lead back. Kingsley Coman and Harry Kane's early goals had given hope that the hosts may endure a torturous day, but they rallied to prevent a potentially devastating thumping.

Svensson and his team won't be panicking just yet because they still have games left before the winter break against teams like Bochum, SV Darmstadt 98, Koln, and Heidenheim; however, if they can't improve their performance, their incredible 15-year tenure in the Bundesliga could end.

Team News

  • Paciencia, Bochum's most recent goal scorer, may not be available for much longer since he was injured in his leg shortly after scoring against Freiburg. Should the former Schalke 04 attacker be ruled out as predicted, Philipp Hofmann would almost probably replace him in attack.
  • Luis Hartwig, Michael Esser, Patrick Osterhage, and Matus Bero could join Paciencia on the treatment table, while Kevin Stoger's sickness rules him out. Stoger will be replaced from the start by Philipp Forster, who was brought in at the last 75-minute break.
  • Meanwhile, owing to injuries, Mainz will be without Jonathan Burkardt, Andreas Hanche-Olsen, Nelson Weiper, and Philipp Mwene. Burkardt, in particular, will be eager to get back to first-team practice for Svensson, but the 23-year-old's knee ailment may prevent him from playing until after the forthcoming international break in November.
  • After starting from the bench against Bayern, Karim Onisiwo should be fit enough to start for the visitors. Youngster Brajan Gruda will probably start in his place. However, that might be Svensson's only change after seeing his team play respectably but lose to the defending champions.
  • Riemann; Ordets, Schlotterbeck, Soares; Gamboa, Losilla, Forster, Bernardo; Asano, Antwi-Adjei; Hofmann might be the starting lineup for VfL Bochum.
  • Zentner, Fernandes, Bell, Van Den Berg; Da Costa, Barreiro, Kohr, Caci; Onisiwo, Lee; Ajorque might be Mainz 05's starting lineup.

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