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Bundesliga | Gameweek 30
Apr 20, 2024 at 2.30pm UK
VfL Bochum

1 - 0
VfL Bochum

Wind (43')
Bornauw (37'), Tomas (53'), Paredes (68'), Vranckx (85')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Osterhage (12'), Antwi-Adjej (86'), Stoger (90+5')

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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Wolfsburg and VfL Bochum, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Wolfsburg and VfL Bochum are separated by a point in the Bundesliga table heading into Saturday's relegation six-pointer at Volkswagen Arena.

The gameweek 30 clash could have ramifications for the pair's survival prospects, adding a layer of intrigue before this weekend's tussle in Lower Saxony.

Match preview

Wolfsburg coach Ralph Hasenhuttl with players look dejected after the match on April 13, 2024© Reuters

Ralph Hasenhuttl replaced Niko Kovac after Wolfsburg lost to Augsburg in mid-March and immediately sparked a reaction as the Wolves defeated Werder Bremen 2-0 at the backend of the month.

However, that win has not provoked a complete turnaround, with the relegation-threatened club losing against Borussia Monchengladbach (3-1) and RB Leipzig (3-0), underscoring the task that lies ahead of the former Southampton boss in the final weeks of the 2023-24 season.

While Wolfsburg are six points clear of 17th-placed Koln, meaning they cannot fall into the automatic relegation spots, just two points separate the home side from 16th-placed Mainz in the playoff spot heading into this weekend.

With Mainz in fine form, picking up 10 points from four matches, Hasenhuttl's troops could slide into the bottom three in gameweek 30 if they are beaten on home turf again, having lost three on the trot.

Correcting the Wolves' home form could be the difference between survival or relegation, with the hosts winless on their stomping ground since defeating Leipzig 2-1 in November 2023.

Facing Bochum is the first step to securing their top-flight status, with Darmstadt and Mainz to visit Volkswagen Arena in Wolfsburg's final two home games of the 2023-24 season.

VfL Bochum's Keven Schlotterbeck celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on February 18, 2024© Reuters

The Blues hope to extend that winless run to five months by avoiding defeat in Lower Saxony on Saturday, keen to correct a seven-match sequence without a victory (five losses) since a shock 3-2 win over Bayern Munich in February.

Heiko Butscher is still new in the job, having replaced Thomas Letsch at the start of April, and the incumbent secured a 1-1 draw in the first game after his promotion from the club's Under-19s, thanks to Keven Schlot­terbeck, who levelled in the 90th minute of proceedings moments after scoring at the wrong end.

However, travelling Bochum fans will not be as assured of a positive result because of a pitiful road record this term that has seen the visitors secure one triumph all season — a 2-1 success over Darmstadt in November 2023.

That points to another dispiriting trip for the supporters, whose seven-point tally after 14 away matches is a joint-low with Mainz in the Bundesliga.

A seven-match winless run against Wolfsburg adds to the dread that Bochum feel before this weekend's encounter, and it remains to be seen if the ambition to overtake their hosts leads to an impressive showing.

Wolfsburg Bundesliga form:

VfL Bochum Bundesliga form:

Team News

Wolfsburg's Moritz Jenz is shown a red card by referee Daniel Siebert on March 10, 2024© Reuters

Moritz Jenz picked up another yellow card in Wolfsburg's recent loss to Leipzig, thus ruling out the centre-back against Bochum.

Koen Casteels is an injury doubt with a shoulder issue, but Lukas Nmecha is not expected to play any part because of a muscle injury.

Butscher is without four players due to knee injuries — Michael Esser, Moritz-Broni Kwarteng and Mohammed Tolba — while Niclas Thiede is unavailable because of a broken finger.

Takuma Asano (six goals) and Kevin Stoger (five) are the struggling side's leading goalscorers this term, and the pair hope to come up trumps for a side winless on the road since last year.

Wolfsburg possible starting lineup:
Pervan; Lacroix, Bornauw, Zesiger; Maehle, Vranckx, Arnold, Gerhardt; Baku, Wind, Tomas

VfL Bochum possible starting lineup:
Reemann; Oermann, Masovic, Schlotterbeck, Bernardo; Losilla, Osterhage, Stoger; Asano, Hofmann, Antwi-Adjei

SM words green background

We say: Wolfsburg 2-1 VfL Bochum

Admittedly, this one is close to call as Wolfsburg are not pulling up trees on their turf, while Bochum's wretched road record leaves much to be desired. However, we are backing the Wolves to end an extended wait for success at Volkswagen Arena, having secured eight home wins over this weekend's visitors in nine matches.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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