Preview: VfL Bochum vs Fortuna Dusseldorf – predictions, team news, line-ups

VfL Bochum

Sports Mole previews Thursday’s Bundesliga relegation playoff clash between VfL Bochum and Fortuna Düsseldorf, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

VFL Bochum to welcome Fortuna Dusseldorf at Vonovia Ruhrstadion for the first leg of the Bundesliga relegation playoff on Thursday evening.

As the hosts look to retain their elite status for next season, the visitors will be hoping to return to Germany’s top flight for the first time in five years.

Match Preview

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Bochum’s three-year stay in the Bundesliga is in danger of coming to an end after slipping into the bottom three on the final day of the regular season following a heavy 4-1 defeat to Werder Bremen last weekend.

The Blues started the day in 14th position in the table and one point from the danger zone, but defeat at Bremen as well as victories over Union Berlin and Mainz 05 sent them to the relegation playoffs for the first time since 2011.

Heiko Boucher was placed in temporary charge following the dismissal of Thomas Letsch in April, and after picking up seven points from his first four matches to boost Bochum’s survival hopes, he has since overseen two defeats by an aggregate score of 9-1, including a 5-0 home defeat to the champion of Bayer Leverkusen.

Only relegated SV Darmstadt 98 (86) have conceded more Bundesliga goals this season than Bochum (74), who have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last 16 league matches dating back to January.

Staying tight in defense will be a priority for Butscher in Thursday’s first leg against a Dusseldorf team they have beaten in their last three meetings, including two second division victories by an 8-0 aggregate score on the season 2020-21 campaign.

Unlike Bochum, Dusseldorf are in good spirits after completing an impressive 14-game unbeaten streak in the league dating back to February, including nine wins and five draws.

Die Flingeraner have been in third place in the second tier since the start of April and remained in the race to secure automatic promotion heading into the penultimate week of the season, but a 1-1 draw with second-placed Holstein Kiel ago a little over fifteen days. forced them into the playoffs.

Düsseldorf took all three points in their final match of the regular season, thanks to a superb hat-trick of Christos Tzolis – including an 88th minute winner – securing a 3-2 home win over Magdeburg last weekend.

Daniel ThiouneThe Bochum team will hope to continue their playoff momentum as they strive for their first competitive victory against Bochum since March 2017, when they won 2-1 away in a second division.

VfL Bochum form (all competitions):

Fortuna Düsseldorf form (all competitions):

Team News

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Bochum will be deprived Philip Forster (hip), Michael Esser, Moritz-Broni Kwarteng And Mohammed Tolba (all knees) due to injury, while first choice goalkeeper Manuel Riemann is unavailable for selection for both legs of this playoff match due to internal disagreement.

Andreas Luthé is therefore ready to replace it; the 37-year-old also played between the sticks the last time Bochum made the relegation playoffs over a decade ago.

Hosts will welcome back immediately Felix Passlack suspension and it should replace Tim Oermannjoin Ivan Ordets, Keven Schlotterbeck And Bernardo in the last four.

As for Düsseldorf, the only absentee is the young central defender Jamil Siébert which requires an operation on a thigh injury.

Having already secured third place before last weekend’s match against Magdeburg, Thioune was able to rest some of his stars who are expected to return to the first XI on Thursday.

Matthias Zimmermann, Tim Oberdorf And Emmanuel Iyoha are all ready to get back on defense, and Yannik Engelhardt could be recalled to midfield, while 14 goals Vincent Vermeij is set to lead the line, with Tzolis, on loan from Norwich City with 24 goals, retaining his place on the left flank.

Possible starting lineup of VfL Bochum:
Luthé; Passlack, Ordets, Schlotterbeck, Bernardo; Losilla, Osterhage; Broschinski, Stoger, Wittek; Hofmann

Fortuna Düsseldorf possible starting lineup:
Kastenmeier; Zimmermann, Oberdorf, De Wijs, Iyoha; Engelhardt, Tanaka; Klaus, Appelkamp, ​​Tzolis; Vermeij

We say: VfL Bochum 2-2 Fortuna Düsseldorf

Goals are to be expected in this competition as both teams have looked strong up front and vulnerable at the back, especially the hosts in recent weeks.

Momentum is good with Dusseldorf heading into Thursday’s match, but there is little separating these two teams and so an entertaining draw could be played out on this occasion.

For data analysis of most likely outcomes, scores and more for this match, please click here.

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