A struggling VfL Bochum host the formidable Bayern Munich, who are targeting three wins out of three in the Bundesliga.

The Bundesliga season is up and running, with the usual suspects leading the charge on top of the standings. However, the bottom three have many unfamiliar names as VfL Bochum are in the surprise company of Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt.

VfL Bochum have had a difficult start to their season, having lost both games so far. The first match of the campaign ended with Mainz securing a comfortable win over them, although their performance against Hoffenheim will trouble manager Thomas Reis.

Despite going ahead by two goals against Hoffenheim, Bochum allowed the visitors to make a stunning comeback, with Munnar Dabbur getting a second-half winner for the visitors. In the third matchday, the struggling team will not fancy playing Bayern Munich, who have started the campaign in relentless form.

Bayern are vying to overtake Borussia Monchengladbach at the top of the table with a win at the weekend. The Bavarians have started the campaign in their usual manner. They began with a 1-6 thrashing of Eintracht Frankfurt and followed that up with a convincing victory over Wolfsburg. The Bavarians will be bracing themselves for another high-scoring game against Bochum as Julian Negelsmann finds more fluidity with his attacking unit.

Against Frankfurt, Bayern had five different scorers, although Jamal Musiala has been their star forward so far, with three goals to his name. Sadio Mane has also quickly adapted to his new team, having scored on his Bundesliga debut against Frankfurt. The former Liverpool star did draw a blank against Wolfsburg and will be hungry to make a mark against Bochum.

Team News & Tactics

VfL Bochum

Bochum continued to be plagued by injury-related absentees, with as many as five players likely to miss the Bayern clash. Danilo Soares will miss out with a hip injury, while Jannes Horn, Jacek Goralski, Christopher Antwi-Adjei, Kostas Stafylidis and Patrick Osterhage are all potential absentees.

Even if some of those are available on the eve of the game, Reis is unlikely to take the risk against a side like Bayern. With the long season to consider, the manager must go with the available options.

Reis will again opt for a standard 4-4-2 formation, with Manuel Riemann keeping his place between the posts. Ahead of him will be the back four of Cristian Gamboa, Vasilios Lampropoulos, Ciminique Heintz and Saidy Janko.

Anthony Losilla and Kevin Stoger will hold the midfield for the home side, with Simon Zoller and Gerrit Holtmann as options from wide areas. Reis will start with a front two in attack, with Takuma Asano and Philipp Hofmann making the grade.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Reimann; Gamboa, Lampropoulos, Heintz, Janko; Zoller, Stoger, Losilla, Holtmann; Asano, Hofmann

Bayern Munich

Nagelsmann ruled out top scorer Jamal Musiala from the VfL Bochum clash while discussing problems with a few others ahead of the game. Chief among them is Matthijs de Ligt, who has a torn ligament in his hand and Dayot Upamecano, who suffered a knock on his knee.

The latter duo could still be in contention, as the manager suggested there will be a late call before selecting his playing eleven and matchday squad. There was also an update on Serge Gnabry, who is currently wearing a cast following a wrist injury, which makes his inclusion doubtful.

Nagelsmann could make minimal changes to his playing eleven. There is confidence about Upmecano recovering to make the squad and is considered in our probable lineup in defence alongside Lucas Hernandez. Benjamin Pavard and Alphonso Davies are expected to take up full-back roles, with Manuel Neuer in goal.

Joshua Kimmich and Marcel Sabitzer are expected to form the midfield pivot, with Thomas Muller playing slightly ahead in the advanced role. Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sane should be the wide attackers, with Mane leading the line for the Bavarians against Bochum.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Pavard, Upamecano, Hernandez, Davies; Kimmich, Sabitzer; Coman, Muller, Sane; Mane

Key Stats

  • Bayern have scored at least two goals in their last 12 matches against Bochum in all competitions.
  • Bayern are undefeated in 13 of their last 14 Bundesliga matches.
  • Bayern have scored at least two goals in six of their last seven matches in the Bundesliga.
  • Bochum have lost their last three matches in the Bundesliga.
  • Bochum have conceded at least two goals in seven of their last 7 matches in the Bundesliga.

Player To Watch

Sadio Mane

Embed from Getty Images

After a terrific debut against Frankfurt, the Senegal international drew a blank against Wolfsburg. The formidable signing from Liverpool will be eager to fill in Robert Lewandowski’s shoes for the duration of his stay, and the best way to do that is by scoring lots of goals.

Mane has a terrific chance to do that against Bochum, with the Senegal star no stranger to exploiting struggling sides. The forward has done it in the Premier League and has the quality to hurt oppositions in the Bundesliga, having shown that in his short stint in Bavaria. Expect him to do some damage on Saturday.

Prediction

VfL Bochum 0-3 Bayern Munich

There’s only one winner here, as Bochum could continue to struggle against a formidable opponent such as Bayern. Nagelsmann’s men are in relentless form and will continue their march to the top of the table with a comfortable win at the weekend. The Bundesliga has not been short of surprises in the past, but considering the form of both these sides, it’s safe to assume that Bayern will be the clear winners.

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