Bochum v Augsburg
There’s little doubt that Bochum v Augsburg should be gearing up to be a tasty six-pointer at the foot of the Bundesliga table, but neither side looks entirely interested in really taking full advantage of this opportunity and winning a vital three points.
Take the hosts Bochum for example. After reaching the safety of mid-table midway through the season, Thomas Reis’ side have seen standards and their form take a notable dip. In their last 10 Bundesliga games, Bochum have only scored 11 goals and picked up 12 points. More than enough to keep relegation at bay, but still hardly inspiring.
Similarly. Augsburg put together a solid run of form in March and early April, with important wins over Arminia Bielefeld, Wolfsburg and Mainz, which seemed to suggest that they had finally sorted out their issues.
However, defeats to Bayern Munich and then Hertha Berlin have threatened to undo all that good work, as Markus Weinzierl’s side now sit just four points above a relegation spot.
When Bochum’s lack of goals of late are coupled with Augbsurg’s own defensive-first policy, this clash really could go either way or indeed end in a draw. But either way, we shouldn’t expect a huge amount of goals from this tie.
Hertha Berlin v Stuttgart
In typical Felix Magath fashion, the newly-appointedHertha Berlin head coach ruled out any playful approaches to Sunday’s all-important clash with Stuttgart.
“With us the fight was often not there and we tried to solve it playfully,” noted the Hertha boss. “We found that it was precisely this fight that brought us victory in Augsburg.”
Indeed, Magath’s “we will fight to the end” persona has certainly been imprinted on this Hertha side, who claimed only their second clean sheet in 12 games across all competitions last weekend. And more of the same should be expected against Stuttgart.
The capital side may also be boosted by the fact that Stuttgart star striker Sasa Kalajdzic looks set to miss out due to a COVID infection, which will severely limit the visitor’s hopes of breaking Hertha down.
Like the clash before it on Sunday, this is a proper relegation battle which could go either way, but unfortunately for the neutral fans it’s unlikely to be an end-to-end contest between two “playful” teams. And we would expect nothing less from the senior Bundesliga tactician.
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