When the Bundesliga resumes play on Friday night, Eintracht Frankfurt will be looking to defeat VfL Bochum to reduce the distance between themselves and the Champions League qualification spots to three points.
Frankfurt’s recent struggles have seen them fall behind in the race for Champions League qualification, having failed to win any of their last six matches across all competitions before the international break.
This has given Union Berlin, Freiburg, and RB Leipzig an advantage, who are all vying for a coveted spot in next season’s competition.
In the Champions League, Frankfurt could only progress up to their first-ever knockout tie in the modern version of the competition. They were soundly beaten 5-0 on aggregate by the dominant Serie A leaders Napoli.
Manager Oliver Glasner will be eagerly anticipating his side’s return to action at Deutsche Bank Park this week, with two crucial fixtures against Bochum and Union Berlin in the Bundesliga and quarter-finals of the DFB-Pokal respectively. The outcome of these matches could shape the remainder of Frankfurt’s campaign.
Eintracht Frankfurt Bundesliga Form: W L D D L
Especially considering their recent form, Thomas Letsch’s Bochum team will be a tough test for Frankfurt. The team has moved four points clear of the relegation zone with two successive victories before the international break, including an impressive away win against FC Koln, only their second of the season.
Bochum’s solid performances on the road were further highlighted by their impressive 1-0 win against Leipzig.
Since Letsch was appointed manager in September, Bochum has won six out of eight matches at home, cementing their status as a formidable opponent on their home turf.
With a comfortable gap between themselves and the four teams below them in the table, including bottom-placed Stuttgart, who visits Vonovia-Ruhrstadion next weekend, Bochum has the quality to survive the season regardless of their result on Friday.
VfL Bochum Bundesliga Form: L L L W W
Frankfurt’s upcoming match against Bochum will see them miss defender Tuta, who will be serving a one-match suspension after receiving his fifth booking of the season in their previous game against Union Berlin.
Furthermore, the team will be without the services of Jesper Lindstrom and Almamy Toure, both of whom are nursing injuries.
Lindstrom is expected to be out of action until late April due to an ankle injury, while Toure is also unlikely to feature in the upcoming weeks as he recovers from a hip injury.
Bochum will be without Danilo Soares for their upcoming match against Frankfurt, as the defender is serving a suspension.
Right-back Cristian Gamboa is nearing his return from a serious knee injury. However, it’s expected that he will be gradually eased back into the first-team action and will likely feature from the substitutes’ bench for now.
Eintracht Frankfurt’s expected starting lineup:
Trapp; Jakic, Hasebe, Ndicka; Knauff, Rode, Sow, Max; Kamada, Gotze; Kolo Muani
VfL Bochum’s expected starting lineup:
Riemann; Osei-Tutu, Ordets, Masovic, Stafylidis; Osterhage, Losilla, Stoger; Asano; Antwi-Adjei, Hofmann
Head to Head
The historical record shows that Eintracht Frankfurt and VfL Bochum have faced each other 16 times before their upcoming match.
In these encounters, Eintracht Frankfurt emerged victorious on 8 occasions, while VfL Bochum secured 6 wins. The remaining 2 games ended in a draw.
Time, Date & Venue
Date: Friday, March 31
Time: 06:30 pm, UTC
Venue: Deutsche Bank Park, Frankfurt
The timing of the recent international break may have been advantageous for Eintracht Frankfurt, especially considering their current form, while it may have been less so for VfL Bochum.
However, despite the different forms of the two teams, Bochum is expected to provide a tough challenge for Frankfurt on Friday.