Bochum to continue their upwards trend under Heiko Butscher
Heidenheim will be without the injured Marnon Busch but have an otherwise full squad available for the clash against Bochum. However, they have to find a replacement for defender Kevin Kraus who is serving a one-match suspension after his red card against Regensburg last Saturday.
Bochum’s Timo Perthel is absent due to injury, but the team have no suspensions.
Suspended: Kevin Kraus
Injured/unavailable: Marnon Busch (unspecified)
Injured/unavailable: Timo Perthel (knee)
MAIN PREDICTION: DRAW
Heidenheim have been making ground on the table in recent weeks after winning six of their last 11 in the league. However, they were beaten 2-0 by the most in-form team in the 2. Bundesliga, Regensburg, at the weekend. Heidenheim’s main aim will be to secure 40 points as fast as they can to ensure a finish in a safe mid-table position at the end of the campaign, and a win here could lift them into eighth.
Bochum have been in poor form of late. The team have succumbed to four defeats in their last five league games and have not scored a single goal in three of the last four. As a result of their disappointing campaign so far, the club decided to show coach Jens Rasiejewski and manager Michael Hochstatter the door last week. Heiko Butscher has taken charge as interim coach and he managed to beat club rivals Darmstadt 2-1 in his debut on Friday.
Even though Bochum have improved under Butscher, it is hard to make a case for them, but a point should be possible for them. Draw.
SECOND PREDICTION: HALF TIME HAD – HOME WIN
Bochum haven’t scored a first-half goal in their last five league games while Heidenheim have notched five within the first 45 minutes in their last three matches. I envisage a low-scoring first half this Friday too as both teams are under pressure and safety first is key here. However, I do predict Heidenheim to lead at half time here.
HEAD TO HEAD
The teams have met only three times in the league at Heidenheim since 2014, with the hosts winning one, drawing one and losing one.