Borussia Dortmund will be up against VfL Bochum in the Bundesliga at the Signal Iduna Park on 30th April. Borussia Dortmund will be hoping to bounce back from the disappointing and demoralizing defeats at the hands of Bayern Munich in Der Klassiker. Not only did they lose the game, but also allowed their arch-rivals to win their 10th successive Bundesliga title at their expense of them. Meanwhile, the visitors suffered another defeat the previous weekend, which leaves their fate of survival hanging in the balance.
The only positive that Borussia Dortmund can probably draw from last weekend’s defeat to Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena is the fact that had they even managed a victory, their chances of winning the title would’ve been extremely marginal, if not bordering on the impossible.
Three points from Der Klassiker would have moved Dortmund to within six points of the league leaders Bayern Munich. However, it doesn’t make sense to think and talk about it now, given that the dust has been settled and the domestic crown remains in Munich once again.
If anything, the 3-1 scoreline as well as Borussia Dortmund’s recent performances at the Allianz Arena and even in the Der Klassiker suggests the difference in class between the two German giants. It has been over a decade since Dortmund last lifted the Bundesliga title and the gulf in quality with their Bavarian opponents continues to grow with every passing year.
Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski found the back of the net in the initial stages of the fixture. This allowed the hosts to take control of the game. Marco Rose’s men could only muster little resistance as the Bavarians seemed to be on top of the game from the very first minute. Although Emre Can pulled one back from 12 yards out in the second half, Dortmund couldn’t capitalize on that swing in momentum and Bayern steamrolled their way to a fantastic win and with it, the title.
Jamal Musiala scored the all-important goal which not only secured their win but also their 30th domestic crown, by far the most in the German top flight. Julian Nagelsmann’s side moved 12 points clear at the top of the table with just three matches remaining.
It has been a disappointing campaign for Marco Rose and his men, who have very little to play for in the remainder of the season. They are neither in Europe’s two premier competitions nor in the DFB Pokal this season.
Eight points separate Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen in the second place in the Bundesliga table. Although there exists a small possibility of Dortmund dropping down the table, a win against Bochum would all but confirm their place as runners-up in the 2021/22 campaign in the German top flight.
On the other hand, VfL Bochum failed to confirm their Bundesliga safety as they hosted relegation-threatened Augsburg the previous weekend. Thomas Reis’ men failed to find the net for the third consecutive match and ended up suffering a 2-0 battering on home soil. This was their fourth defeat in six games and their second on the trot.
Despite their poor run of form, Stuttgart and Arminia Bielefeld also suffered losses on matchday 31. This meant that Bochum were fortunate to maintain their eight-point gap over Stuttgart in the relegation playoff spot. They also have a 10-point lead over Arminia in the automatic relegation zone.
Although VfL Bochum have some net of safety as far as a return to 2.Bundesliga is concerned, their recent form and vulnerabilities don’t inspire confidence. A slim possibility of them losing points and falling into the relegation playoff places might continue to play on the minds of the players and the team personnel. They need to pick up more than a point from the three fixtures that remain in the German top flight this season.
Bochum’s fate will also rest on how their challengers in the relegation battle perform in the upcoming days. They have not been in inspired form either which might assure Die Unabsteigbaren of some degree of safety after back-to-back seasons in Germany’s top flight. However, Reis will be aware that his team cannot depend solely upon them and will be hoping to turn a corner and recover from this slump in the closing stages of the season.
DOR vs BOC, Bundesliga 2021/22
Date: 30th April, 2022
Time: 7:00 PM IST
Venue: Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga form:
Borussia Dortmund from (all competitions):
VfL Bochum Bundesliga form:
VfL Bochum form (all competitions):
Borussia Dortmund wins: 3
VfL Bochum wins: 2
DOR vs BOC TEAM NEWS:
Borussia Dortmund Team News: Borussia Dortmund are suffering from a plethora of injury issues and their list of absentees continues to grow bigger and bigger with every matchday. First-choice goalkeeper Gregor Kobel is on top of that list and Hitz will take over the gloves for this clash.
Senior center-back Mats Hummels has also joined the aforementioned players in the treatment room and Marco Rose appears to be short on options in defence. Manuel Akanji and Marin Pongracic will be in contention to replace Hummels in the center of the defense.
Nico Schulz, Youssoufa Moukoko, Mahmoud Dahoud, Steffen Tigges, Thomas Meunier, Mateu Morey, Donyell Malen and Marcel Schmelzer are also expected to miss out owing to injury concerns.
Julian Brandt is expected to start this clash after Giovanni Reyna suffered yet another setback in an injury-ravaged campaign. The American youngster has been ruled out for the remainder of the season. Donyell Malen’s participation is also in doubt due to a muscular issue.
There are slight doubts on the availability of Thorgan Hazard who has a back problem that kept him out of the match against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena. Meanwhile, Axel Witsel is suffering from illness that might see him miss out once again.
VfL Bochum Team News: Kostas Stafylidis will be serving the second of his three-match ban following his violent challenge that resulted in a red card recently. Danilo Soares had struggled with a knock previously, but was fit enough to start against Augsburg last weekend.
This means that manager Reis has no fresh injury or availability concerns to deal with. Eduard Lowen, Jurgen Locadia and Sebastian Polter are all expected to play a part in this clash as Bochum will be desperate to swing the momentum in their favour in the final few matches.
Borussia Dortmund possible starting lineup:
Hitz; Wolf, Akanji, Pongracic, Guerreiro; Witsel, Bellingham; Brandt, Reus, Reinier; Haaland
VfL Bochum possible starting lineup:
Riemann; Gamboa, Bella-Kotchap, Leitsch, Soares; Lowen, Losilla, Rexhbecaj; Zoller, Locadia, Asano
It will be interesting to see how Borussia Dortmund react following the misery that they had to go through at Allianz Arena recently. Missing out on another Bundesliga title while suffering yet another defeat in Der Klassiker could take its toll on the black and yellow side.
However, if they manage to remain professional and maintain their level, they will be expected to run riot against a VfL Bochum side that looks extremely sluggish and unsettled. Although Reis will be hoping his side capitalizes on the counter-attack, Dortmund are the favourites to secure a handsome win at home.