Bochum and Arminia Bielefeld will square up this Friday in the 33rd round of the 2021/22 Bundesliga season.
Venue: Vonovia Ruhrstadion (Bochum)
Bochum have collected 25 of their 39 points at home this season and have conceded half as many times (16) as they have on their travels (32).
Sebastian Polter is Bochum’s nine-goal leading marksman in this season’s Bundesliga.
Arminia Bielefeld have the worst record in the division in 2022, having collected 11 points from 15 matchdays (W2, D5, L8).
They have lost their last six league away games, scoring just once in that time.
Arminia Bielefeld have failed to win any of their last 9 matches
Okugawa is Bielefeld’s eight-goal top scorer this season, and he is one goal away from his career-best return of nine in a single campaign.
Head to head
.Arminia Bielefeld are unbeaten in their last four meetings with Bochum, having won three of those four games.
Latest performances in all competitions
Arminia Bielefeld: D-L-L-L-D
After securing their Bundesliga status for another season, Bochum will now look to make it back-to-back wins when they welcome Arminia Bielefeld to Vonovia Ruhrstadion this Friday.
The hosts secured their top-flight status with a heroic 4-3 win at Borussia Dortmund last weekend after storming into a two-goal lead after eight minutes, only to go 2-3 down before scoring two late goals to take the win.
They had five shots on target in that game at Signal Iduna Park and secured maximum points thanks to goals from Sebastian Polter, Gerrit Holtmann, Jurgen Locadia and Milos Pantovic.
And so, they come into this sitting in 12th position, four points behind tenth-placed Borussia Monchengladbach with two games to play. They have a slim chance of finishing in the top ten. And so coach Thomas Reis, who has called the entire season “a miracle”, will look for even a bigger miracle, that is; a top ten finish.
A win in this game keeps the possibility of that happening alive. And given that they face an Arminia Bielefeld side that they have a decent ten-game record against in the top flight (W6, D2, L2), they will fancy their chances of winning this game.
Possible Bochum starting line-up
Manuel Riemann; Cristian Gambao, Erhan Masovic, Maxim Leitsch, Herbert Bockhorn; Anthony Losilla; Milos Pantovic, Gerrit Holtmann, Takuma Asano, Elvis Rexhbecaj; Sebastian Polter.
Injured: Danilo Soares
Unlike their hosts, Bielefeld are still fighting for their Bundesliga future.
The visitors sit six points adrift of safety and only catching Stuttgart in the relegation-playoff place is realistic, given that they have just two games to play. They come into this tie fresh from a 1-1 draw with Hertha Berlin, giving interim coach Marco Kottmann some belief that his side could yet escape.
But given that they are winless in their last nine games, getting a win is a big ask. They will need a very strong start to stand a chance as they are yet to lose a Bundesliga road trip after scoring first (W3, D1) but have collected only two away points after conceding first (D2, L10).
Possible Bielefeld starting line-up
Stefan Ortega; Nathan De Medina, Guilherme Ramos, Joakim Nilsson, Barrett Laursen; Fabian Kunze, Manuel Prietl; Patrick Wimmer, Gonzalo Castro, Masaya Okugawa; Burak Ince.
Injured: Bryan Lasme, Cedric Brunner, Fabian Klos
Bochum 2-1 Bielefeld