Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Prediction: VfL Bochum vs Bayern Munich

Verdict: Total goals over 3.5

Best odds: 20/21

Bookmaker: Olympusbet

The Bundesliga’s Matchday 22 will conclude on Sunday evening with Bayern Munich facing VfL Bochum at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion.

Bochum, currently sitting in 14th place after 21 matches, will host a Bayern side that has faltered recently, slipping five points behind league leaders Bayer Leverkusen and aiming to halt a streak of two consecutive defeats.

VfL Bochum

With all respect to the home side, this fixture presents an excellent opportunity for Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel to uplift spirits within the camp. Bayern secured a 7-0 victory against the same opponents for the second consecutive year in September, which means it’s a favorable matchup at this point for the Bavarians.

But from his point of view, Bochum head coach Thomas Letsch sees this as an ideal moment to challenge the reigning champions, believing his team can secure a positive result, especially with Bayern’s confidence waning.

While Bochum haven’t been spectacular in the league this season, they’ve proven resilient, leading the top flight with the most drawn matches (10) in the 2023/24 season. Moreover, Die Unabsteigbaren have lost just once at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion in 13 matches this season and are unbeaten in their last seven home games, comprising three victories and four draws.

Despite these encouraging statistics, Bochum face a daunting task against an opponent that has scored 17 goals unanswered in their last three encounters alone.

Last time out, Bochum played a 1-1 draw against Eintracht in Frankfurt, with both sides scoring early as Omar Marmoush broke the deadlock in the 14th minute for Eintracht, and Moritz Broschinski equalized three minutes later.

Team News

Bochum will be without midfielder Matus Bero, who received his fifth yellow card of the campaign against Frankfurt last week and will serve a one-match suspension.

Additionally, Mohammed Tolba has been sidelined for the rest of the season due to an ACL injury, while goalkeeper Michael Esser is still recovering from a knee injury of his own and is expected to be out for a few more weeks before returning to action.

Bayern Munich

Accustomed to dominating domestic football, Bayern find themselves in a precarious position as its 11-year streak of winning the Bundesliga title faces a significant threat from Bayer Leverkusen’s impressive form this season.

The Bavarians’ season has been marred by setbacks, starting with a defeat in the DFL Supercup against RB Leipzig and a humiliating exit from the DFB-Pokal at the hands of third-tier FC Saarbrucken. This string of disappointments has raised concerns that the reigning German champions may end the season without winning any trophies for the first time since the 2011/12 campaign.

With their domestic prospects dwindling, Bayern’s focus may now shift towards the Champions League, but their hopes suffered a setback with a 1-0 loss to Lazio in the first leg of the round of 16 tie. Ciro Immobile scored from the penalty spot for the Serie A side, after Dayot Upamecano committed a foul in his box and earned a straight red card.

This defeat in Rome followed a 3-0 loss to Bayer Leverkusen just four days prior, marking Bayern’s first back-to-back defeats since 2019 and leaving them trailing the unbeaten Bundesliga leaders by five points.

With the pressure mounting, Tuchel, who replaced Julian Nagelsmann in the Allianz Arena dugout with the obvious aim of delivering silverware, faces a crucial test this weekend. The looming presence of managerial heavyweights like Jose Mourinho, possibly even Jurgen Klopp and Xavi Hernandez as well, adds to the urgency of Bayern’s situation.

Team News

Tuchel’s team selection has faced scrutiny in recent weeks, and there’s been much guesswork regarding whether he will stick with his usual choices or make adjustments for this match. The midweek sending-off of Upamecano and criticism towards Min-jae Kim for appearing fatigued add to the intrigue.

If Tuchel decides to shuffle his defensive lineup, it could see Matthijs de Ligt returning to the starting eleven, with Eric Dier, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, also a viable option.

Furthermore, Bayern are dealing with a lengthy list of absentees, including Alphonso Davies, Kingsley Coman, Konrad Laimer, Noel Aseko, and Serge Gnabry, all of whom are sidelined for the foreseeable future.

Conclusion

Bayern, and especially Tuchel, find themselves in a position where there is no room for error this weekend. Despite confidence within the team likely being at its lowest in many years, Bayern possess considerable firepower that cannot be discounted.

Therefore, it’s very likely that they will rebound with a convincing victory against Bochum, with Harry Kane likely to hurt the home team, possibly more than once, and improve his impressive goalscoring tally this season.

Verdict: Total goals over 3.5

Best odds: 20/21

Bookmaker: Olympusbet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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