Preview: FC Koln vs. VfL Bochum
VfL Bochum will be aiming to move off the foot of the table when they visit FC Koln in the Bundesliga on Friday evening.
The hosts, meanwhile, will be hoping to build on a solid 0-0 draw away to Union Berlin from their last league match.
Indeed, having conceded five goals without reply across two consecutive defeats to Stuttgart and Wolfsburg, Koln boss Steffen Baumgart would have been content to see his side leave the capital with a point last weekend.
With 17 points separating the two sides in the Bundesliga table, and Union Berlin unbeaten at home in the league for over a year, avoiding defeat was probably the best result that the Billy Goats could realistically hope to achieve.
Baumgart’s main concern may be regarding his side’s lack of potency in attack in recent weeks, having blanked in five of their last six matches heading into Friday’s encounter against Bochum at RheinEnergieStadion.
As such, it could be the perfect time to be playing the division’s bottom-ranked outfit, who have lost their last four matches prior to their trip to Cologne.
Indeed, despite putting together a solid run of form in Thomas Letsch’s first few months at the club to move outside of the relegation zone, Bochum have lost seven of their last eight matches in all competitions to fall back to the bottom of the table.
The bulk of Bochum’s growing foundations under Letsch was built on strong home form, with the 54-year-old sensationally winning each of his first five league games at Vonovia-Ruhrstadion after being appointed in late September.
However, even that has deserted them in recent weeks, with a disastrous 2-0 defeat at home to relegation rivals Schalke 04 last weekend seeing their opponents swap places with them in the table.
With tough fixtures against Champions League representatives RB Leipzig and Eintracht Frankfurt either side of the international break, Letsch and his players are clearly under significant pressure to achieve a positive result on Friday.
FC Koln Bundesliga form:
VfL Bochum Bundesliga form:
VfL Bochum form (all competitions):
We say: FC Koln 2-0 VfL Bochum
Koln have lacked potency in attack in recent weeks, but their defensive record has been excellent on the whole, which should help them return to winning ways on Friday.
Bochum’s away form has remained wretched all season long – winning just once on the road in the league – and they are likely to remain bottom by suffering another defeat.