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Targeting the next miracle


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“Deep in the west where the sun collects dust, it’s better, much better than you would think,” sang Herbert Grönemeyer in his famous song about Bochum. And actually, the current situation at local club VfL is also better than their league position might suggest. They might be down in the relegation play-off place with the drop looming large but staying in the league no longer seems beyond the realms of possibility.

With seven rounds of matches played, VfL were languishing in last place with only one point to their name. Thomas Reis, the coach who oversaw promotion and then heroically kept them up the following year, was shown the door. Thomas Letsch came in and although he has not yet been able to improve his team’s fortunes on the road, he has turned them into a seemingly unbeatable unit at home. After wins over Eintracht Frankfurt, Union Berlin, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Hertha BSC, the Ruhrstadion has become a fortress that no opponent has been able to conquer since Letsch’s arrival.

In order to ensure they beat the drop again this term, Bochum turned to the transfer market over the winter break. Central defender Keven Schlotterbeck joined on loan from SC Freiburg and scored his first Bundesliga goal on his debut. Pierre Kunde has been brought in to stabilise the central midfield, and he has already found the net as well.

Bochum will be hoping target man Philipp Hofmann and fast wingers like Christopher Antwi-Adjei or Gerrit Holtmann can make an impact going forward, but the team that has conceded the most goals in the division (44 in 19 games) will need to be careful at the back. They have only kept two clean sheets all season.

TSG turned around an early 2-0 deficit to win the reverse fixture and pick up their first three points of the season. The return fixture in Bochum would certainly be an ideal time to get back to winning ways.

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Targeting the next miracle
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