Samstag, 23. September 2017

St. Pauli - Fortuna Düsseldorf

St. Pauli to bag second win in a row

TEAM NEWS

St. Pauli will again not have the long-term injured Ryo Miyaichi and Philipp Ziereis at their disposal while Christopher Buchtmann and Marc Hornschuh face fresh injuries. In addition, they will miss Joel Keller due to a suspension as the player was sent off in a lower league match with St. Pauli’s Under-23s.

Dusseldorf will be without first ‘keeper Michael Rensing again due to a broken rib while Justin Toshiki Kinjo is not ready either after suffering a knee injury.

St. Pauli

Suspended: Joel Keller

Doubtful: None

Injured/unavailable: Ryo Miyaichi (knee), Philipp Ziereis (muscle), Christopher Buchtmann (ankle), Marc Hornschuh (back)

Dusseldorf

Suspended: None

Doubtful: None

Injured/unavailable: Justin Toshiki Kinjo (knee), Michael Rensing (broken rib)

MATCH PREVIEW

MAIN PREDICTION: HOME WIN

St. Pauli came off an important win in their derby away at high-flying Holstein Kiel, registering a narrow 1-0 success. Having claimed four wins from seven league games, this encounter will prove a tough test of their credentials at home where they have only claimed one victory so far. They remain close to the top and sit in sixth despite that average run at home which is in large part down to their good results on the road.

Dusseldorf were lucky enough to find a single goal against 16th placed Regensburg during their 1-0 home win on Wednesday. They were very poor and almost ended up with a second draw in four home games, but the win catapulted them to the top of the 2. Bundesliga standings and they now lead by two points. However, despite suffering just one loss so far, the match against St. Pauli, who themselves are potential promotion candidates, is expected to be a tough one.

The atmosphere at St. Pauli is always special and the fans support their team very well. Dusseldorf may be leading the table, but if St. Pauli can control this game they can get something out of this encounter as their opponents’ last two performances were only average. I predict a home win.

SECOND PREDICTION: HALF TIME HAD – DRAW

In St. Pauli’s last three home games in the league, three of their four goals have arrived in the second half and two of those matches have seen the teams level at half time. That is a trend I expect to continue here against Dusseldorf.

HEAD TO HEAD

Dusseldorf have won on their previous visit to St. Pauli by a 1-0 scoreline in November last year. However, they have only won three times in total in this head-to-head on their travels while St. Pauli managed to win 12 of their 17 home games.

Arminia Bielefeld - FC Heidenheim

Hosts to continue strong run at home

TEAM NEWS

Bielefeld can count on the same team as in their previous matches. Christopher Nothe and Nils Quaschner both have a knee injury and will miss this game.

Heidenheim have no important injuries to worry about, with Denis Thomalla their only absentee.

Bielefeld

Suspended: None

Doubtful: None

Injured/unavailable: Christopher Nothe, Nils Quaschner (both knee)

Heidenheim

Suspended: None

Doubtful: None

Injured/unavailable: Denis Thomalla (unspecified)

MATCH PREVIEW

MAIN PREDICTION: HOME WIN

Bielefeld’s excellent home record of two wins and just one defeat is likely to continue when the team host Heidenheim this weekend. They have also kept a clean sheet in two of their last five games while they lost only one of their last five home league – albeit the last one by a 4-0 scoreline against Duisburg. However, Bielefeld will look to consolidate their fifth place in the table here. One of the home team’s most impressive players this season has been striker Andreas Voglsammer who has scored four goals in seven starts.

Heidenheim will be nervous ahead of the visit to Bielefeld, but the hosts will need to contain the visitors tightly here. Heidenheim surprisingly nearly won 2-1 against Darmstadt at home in midweek, but conceded the equaliser five minutes from time, with the game ending 2-2. Nevertheless, the team are now two matches unbeaten after starting the season with one win and four defeats.

After two losses in a row, Bielefeld are back on track and I expect them to their second victory in four days here.

SECOND PREDICTION: FIRST TEAM TO SCORE – BIELEFELD

Bielefeld have scored six of their last ten goals in the first half while Heidenheim have netted just twice so far away from home, with one of them arriving before the break. I expect Bielefeld to lead after 45 minutes.

HEAD TO HEAD

Bielefeld are unbeaten in their last two encounters, having clinched one win and one draw against Heidenheim.

Jahn Regensburg - Eintracht Braunschweig

Regensburg aiming for first home win

TEAM NEWS

Regensburg will not have Uwe Hesse and Oliver Hein at their disposal.

Braunschweig are still without Julius Biada, Patrick Schonfeld and Steve Breitkreutz, but none of them is a key player.

Regensburg

Suspended: None

Doubtful: None

Injured/unavailable: Uwe Hesse (ankle), Oliver Hein (knee)

Braunschweig

Suspended: None

Doubtful: None

Injured/unavailable: Julius Biada (calf), Patrick Schonfeld (infection), Steve Breitkreutz (pubis)

MATCH PREVIEW

MAIN PREDICTION: HOME WIN

With two wins and three defeats in their last five matches, Regensburg have been inconsistent at best lately and they need to bounce back from their latest disappointing home result to avoid losing sight of safety. They have in fact not won any of their three home games this season, with three defeats, but this game against Braunschweig presents a good opportunity for them to register their first three points in front of their supporters.

Braunschweig may be undefeated in seven league matches, but despite huge ambitions at the start of the season, they have only managed to win two and draw five. They are a team who have struggled on their travels, winning just twice in eight games. Torsten Lieberknecht has them playing attractive attacking football – which is fairly typically of Lieberknecht’s teams. Christoffer Nyman has been one of their key attacking threats, appearing in six games, scoring three.

I feel this game will be won by the home team. The visitors will find this another tough away fixture and the hosts will try to take advantage of Braunschweig’s disappointing campaign to date. Home win.

SECOND PREDICTION: HALF TIME HAD – DRAW

Regensburg have found it difficult to find the net in the first half this season, scoring only three of their goals within the first 45 minutes. In fact, all of their last three matches were level at half time while the same can be said about three of Braunschweig’s last five. I expect a draw at half time here too.

HEAD TO HEAD

Regensburg have played only twice against Braunschweig in the 2. Bundesliga, losing both by a 1-0 scoreline in the 2012-13 season.

Freitag, 22. September 2017

MSV Duisburg - Holstein Kiel

Duisburg aiming for their first home win

TEAM NEWS

Zlatko Janjic and Tim Albutat are still on Duisburg’s list of absentees, but there are no fresh injury worries for Ilija Gruev.

Holstein Kiel will have to do without the long-term injured Christopher Lenz and Manuel Janzer while Arne Sicker will miss again with illness. In addition, they cannot count on Patrick Herrmann who was sent off against St. Pauli towards the end of the game.

Duisburg

Suspended: None

Doubtful: None

Injured/unavailable: Zlatko Janjic (knee), Tim Albutat (ankle)

Holstein Kiel

Suspended: Patrick Herrmann

Doubtful: None

Injured/unavailable: Christopher Lenz (adductor), Manuel Janzer (achilles), Arne Sicker (infection)

MATCH PREVIEW

MAIN PREDICTION: HOME WIN

Duisburg were involved in a very entertaining 2-2 draw away to Ingolstadt in their previous 2. Bundesliga match, with Borys Tashchy scoring twice. Following their second win of the season, they sit in a comfortable mid-table position and don’t have to worry about relegation at the moment. Coach Ilija Gruew was very pleased with his team’s performance last time out. 45% ball possession and five shots on target in their last game on the road are not bad statistics, but at home they are winless in three. They will hope to transfer their positive away form to their next home game.

Holstein Kiel’s excellent unbeaten home run came to an end against St. Pauli when the team lost 1-0. They never found a way into the game. However, despite registering their second loss this season, they are still in a good position with 13 points in fourth place – an astonishing achievement for a newly promoted team after seven matches. They have secured six from a possible nine points on their travels and, having scored 15 so far, there are goals in this team as well as creative players – and that will give the away side hope of bouncing back immediately.

Duisburg showed a different face recently – they are very good on the road but are having problems at home. However, they might be able to take advantage of Holstein Kiel’s midweek disappointment and I think they hosts can get something out of this encounter.

SECOND PREDICTION: TOTAL GOALS – TWO

Meetings between these two teams don’t tend to produce many goals traditionally. In fact, the last seven competitive encounters have only seen 12 goals in total, or an average of 1.70. I expect this trend to continue and predict a total of two goals here.

HEAD TO HEAD

These teams will meet for the first time in 2. Bundesliga, but met in the third division last year, with Duisburg’s home match ending 0-0 and Holstein Kiel winning 2-0 in front of their own supporters.

Erzgebirge Aue - SV Sandhausen

A draw seems likely between two counter-attack loving teams

TEAM NEWS

Aue are only without long-term absentee Nicky Adler, but they have a suitable replacement for him.

Sandhausen will again be without Stefan Kulovits, Marcel Seegert, Mirco Born, Rick Wulle, Robert Herrmann and Korbinian Vollmann, who are all injury concerns.

Aue

Suspended: None

Doubtful: None

Injured/unavailable: Nicky Adler (adductor)

Sandhausen

Suspended: None

Doubtful: None

Injured/unavailable: Stefan Kulovits (muscle), Marcel Seegert (eye); Mirco Born, Rick Wulle (both knee); Robert Herrmann (broken foot), Korbinian Vollmann (unspecified)

MATCH PREVIEW

MAIN PREDICTION: DRAW

Aue claimed an important 2-0 win on the road against Kaiserslautern last time out – it was a game that midfield player Soren Bertram scored twice in. Following their second win on the road in a row, they remain in the middle of the 2.Bundesliga table. However, they are a team who have struggled at their home games, winning just once in three games. Coach Hannes Drews has them playing high-pressing football – which was also typically for them last season under Doemico Tedesco. His friend Drews continues on this path now and with two wins in the last three games, it looks like that they have found their form again.

Sandhausen produced one of the surprise results at home in round seven. They started the match with a very deep standing 4-4-2 formation and did well to frustrate Union Berlin to gain the win. This was their second narrow 1-0 win at home in a row and their fourth win in seven matches. With their 14 points, they are in second and have made one of their best starts to the season this time round. The team are going from strength to strength and this win may reignite their spirit again.

Both teams love to sit back and wait for a counter-attack, so this match has the potential to end in a very uneventful game if neither of the teams decide to change their style of play. I’ll therefore go with a draw.

SECOND PREDICTION: HALF TIME HAD – SANDHAUSEN

The first half in this fixture is very hard to predict as the outcomes in the teams’ past meetings have been so different. Some encounters have seen goals flow while others barely registered any at all. However, Sandhausen have managed to lead twice at half time in three of their league games so far while Aue have been behind in two of their three home matches. I’ll therefore go with an away win at the break here.

HEAD TO HEAD

Sandhausen have won only one of their five visits to Aue, but they did manage to pick up two draws (both 2-2) while the two wins for the home team resulted in a narrow 1-0 and a comfortable 2-0 result.

Mittwoch, 20. September 2017

Eintracht Braunschweig - Greuther Fürth

Braunschweig to continue their unbeaten run

TEAM NEWS

Braunschweig are still without Julius Biada, Patrick Schonfeld and Steve Breitkreutz who are all injured, but none of them is a key player.

Greuther Furth won’t have Mathis Bolly and Sercan Sararer at their disposal.

Braunschweig

Suspended: None

Doubtful: None

Injured/unavailable: Julius Biada (calf), Patrick Schonfeld (infection), Steve Breitkreutz (pubis)

Greuther Furth

Suspended: None

Doubtful: None

Injured/unavailable: Mathis Bolly (muscle), Sercan Sararer (unspecified)

MATCH PREVIEW

MAIN PREDICTION: HOME WIN

Braunschweig’s start to the season can only be described as disappointing. The club appear unable to cope under pressure as they considered themselves to be top promotion candidates this season. Following their 1-1 draw at Union Berlin on Friday, Torsten Lieberknecht’s men have only won one of their six league matches, while they have drawn five. However, they have played decently and have scored at least one goal in all of their games so far – but they have also conceded at least one in each of them. Lieberknecht will have to either try to play an offensive style in order to score more or has to work on improving his defence. Otherwise, they will not be able to win more matches if the current situation continues.

Greuther Furth produced one of the surprise results last weekend at home against Dusseldorf. They started with a 4-1-4-1 formation and did well to frustrate their opponents, claiming a 3-1 win. Damir Buric’s men had been in very poor form before that win, with three straight defeats in the opening matches and one draw. They now sit in 17th in the table and are only two points from safety. The team did not have much to laugh about before, but their win over Dusseldorf will have provided them with some hope to make it out of the relegation zone over the upcoming weeks.

Despite Furth’s latest win, I still think Braunschweig will make use of their home advantage here and finally clinch their second win this season. Home win.

SECOND PREDICTION: FIRST TEAM TO SCORE – BRAUNSCHWEIG

Six of the last seven home matches have seen Braunschweig score first while Greuther Furth have conceded first in four of their last six road games. With hosts Braunschweig desperate to return to winning ways, I would not be surprised if they found the net first here again.

HEAD TO HEAD

Braunschweig’s all-time home record against Greuther Furth in 2.Bundesliga consists of two wins, three draws and two defeats, with the team scoring seven and conceding six goals.

Dienstag, 19. September 2017

Holstein Kiel - FC St. Pauli

St. Pauli to stop Holstein Kiel’s unbeaten run

TEAM NEWS

Bielefeld will have to do without the long-term injured Christopher Lenz and Manuel Janzer while Arne Sicker will miss again with illness.

Duisburg will again not have the long-term injured Ryo Miyaichi and Philipp Ziereis at their disposal while Christopher Buchtmann faces a fresh ankle injury. In addition, they will miss Joel Keller due to a suspension as the player was sent off in a lower league match with St. Pauli’s Under-23s.

Holstein Kiel

Suspended: None

Doubtful: None

Injured/unavailable: Christopher Lenz (adductor), Manuel Janzer (achilles), Arne Sicker (infection)

St. Pauli

Suspended: Joel Keller

Doubtful: None

Injured/unavailable: Ryo Miyaichi (knee), Philipp Ziereis (muscle), Christopher Buchtmann (ankle)

MATCH PREVIEW

MAIN PREDICTION: DRAW

Holstein Kiel claimed an impressive 3-0 victory on their last visit to Aue and it was a game that striker Marvin Ducksch scored twice in – his fourth and fifth goal this season. The newly-promoted club are unstoppable, having scored at least two goals in each of their league games so far, and they boast an impressive goal difference of +6. They have now won their last four league games in a row. However, only the last match ended in a clean sheet for them while they conceded exactly one in each of the other three.

St. Pauli lost 4-0 at home against Ingolstadt on Saturday, but on the road they are a totally different prospect. They feel much more comfortable away from home, having won two of their last three, and as a result of their lengthy injury list they have to rely on fast counter-attacks. Coach Olaf Janssen will need to look at strengthening his defence though after conceding four goals in the last game. The team should be more than motivated though – a win here would mean that they would be the first team to break through Holstein Kiel’s incredible run of 13 unbeaten home games.

Holstein Kiel have been hot and will without a doubt aim for another home win here, but St Pauli are tough opponents. I expect a different outcome – draw.

SECOND PREDICTION: FIRST TEAM TO SCORE – HOLSTEIN KIEL

Holstein Kiel have scored ten of their 15 goals in the first half while St. Pauli tend to wait until after the break, having netted just one first-half goal so far. The likelihood that Kiel start well in the first half again is high and I can see this pattern continue here.

HEAD TO HEAD

Holstein Kiel have played only once against St. Pauli in the 2.Bundesliga, beating them 2-1 in 1979 in an entertaining game.

1.FC Kaiserslautern - Erzgebirge Aue

A draw seems very likely

TEAM NEWS

Kaiserslautern have two players on their injury list in the form of Kacper Przybylko and Leon Guware.

Aue are only without long-term absentee Nicky Adler, but they have a suitable replacement for him.

Kaiserslautern

Suspended: None

Doubtful: None

Injured/unavailable: Kacper Przybylko (foot), Leon Guware (ankle)

Aue

Suspended: None

Doubtful: None

Injured/unavailable: Nicky Adler (adductor)

MATCH PREVIEW

MAIN PREDICTION: DRAW

After a fourth defeat in their last six matches, Kaiserslautern remain winless at the bottom of the table. They have not been able to find their scoring boots so far, having netted just three, and are harmless in front of goal. They suffered a 1-0 defeat last time out at Sandhausen, with the hosts scoring the winner in the second half. However, they will also be concerned about their defence, having shipped ten in total, as the team have not produced a clean sheet so far.

After their two recent wins against Nurnberg and Ingolstadt, Aue seemed to be on the right path, but they suffered a crushing 3-0 loss at home against newly-promoted Holstein Kiel on Friday, in what was their worst defeat this season. The team still sit in mid-table, but have a negative goal difference of -3. Their two wins over the last three weeks have been the only victories during this campaign; however, they will see this fixture against lowly Kaiserslautern as a good opportunity to bounce back.

This match is one of the hardest to predict as both are out of form and low on confidence. Aue have been more convincing than Kaiserslautern this season, but their weekend defeat will have set them back. I therefore think a draw should be the best choice here.

SECOND PREDICTION: FIRST TEAM TO SCORE – AUE

After starting the campaign with two defeats, Aue’s confidence received a welcome boost with Damir Buric’s appointment as their new coach and the team have been the first to score in three of the last four league matches. With Kaiserslautern conceding the first goal in their last four league matches so far, I can see that trend continuing here.

HEAD TO HEAD

The previous meeting at Betzenberg Stadium between these two resulted in a 0-0 draw. It was the first point Aue managed to claim away from home with all of the other five encounters beforehand being won by Kaiserslautern.

SV Sandhausen - Union Berlin

Sandhausen to register back-to-back victories

TEAM NEWS

Sandhausen will again be without Stefan Kulovits, Marcel Seegert, Mirco Born, Rick Wulle, Robert Herrmann and Korbinian Vollmann who are all injury concerns.

Union Berlin will not have Kenny Prince Redondo and Marc Torrejon at their disposal.

Sandhausen

Suspended: None

Doubtful: None

Injured/unavailable: Stefan Kulovits (muscle), Marcel Seegert (eye); Mirco Born, Rick Wulle (both knee); Robert Herrmann (broken foot), Korbinian Vollmann (unspecified)

Union Berlin

Suspended: None

Doubtful: None

Injured/unavailable: Kenny Prince Redondo (shoulder), Marc Torrejon (calf)

MATCH PREVIEW

MAIN PREDICTION: HOME WIN

Sandhausen are coming off an important home win against Kaiserslautern. The 1-0 triumph has allowed them climb up the table and they have now registered three wins, two draws and only one defeat. Although they have a lot of injury concerns at the moment a second win in a row is well within their means here, having won two of their three home games. However, despite their good team spirit, this game should be a real test for them because they welcome one of the top teams in 2.Bundesliga.

Union Berlin travel to Sandhausen following a two-match winless run on their travels, having conceded at least two goals in both of those matches. However, their overall form reads even worse, having picked up just two wins in six league matches. However, the team, who were tipped as one of the promotion candidates at the beginning of the season, have only lost of those, when beating 3-2 at Dusseldorf in their last away match. Having scored 11 so far, creating chances does not seem to be a problem for them, but they will have to work on their defence.

Sandhausen are a difficult place to travel to for any team in 2.Bundesliga. Union Berlin have clearly not found their best formula yet and I therefore predict a home win.

SECOND PREDICTION: HALF TIME HAD – DRAW

Four of Union Berlin’s last five league matches and both of Sandhausen’s last two have seen a draw at 45 minutes. I think this trend is likely to continue and we can expect a close first half again.

HEAD TO HEAD

The last six times Union Berlin have visited Sandhausen they have only picked up one win, while the home team have accumulated three victories. In addition, the last six meetings have produced 15 goals in total.

FC Ingolstadt - MSV Duisburg

Ingolstadt set for first home win

TEAM NEWS

Ingolstadt are still without the long-term injured Phil Neumann and Moritz Hartmann. The team are likely to miss Hartmann in particular as he is their main striker and very dangerous.

Zlatko Janjic and Tim Albutat are still on Duisburg’s list of absentees, but there are no fresh injury worries for Ilija Gruev.

Ingolstadt

Suspended: None

Doubtful: None

Injured/unavailable: Phil Neumann (knee), Moritz Hartmann (muscle)

Duisburg

Suspended: None

Doubtful: None

Injured/unavailable: Zlatko Janjic (knee), Tim Albutat (ankle)

MATCH PREVIEW

MAIN PREDICTION: HOME WIN

Ingolstadt won their second match on the road in a row on Saturday – it was a match which they thoroughly dominated and they beat St. Pauli by an impressive 4-0 scoreline, with all goals arriving in the first half. This is exactly the sort of performance that was expected from the team at the beginning of the season and it seems that they have finally found their scoring touch after they netted only four in the previous five matches. This is a game Ingolstadt will want to win to move further away from the relegation zone; however, they have lost their first three at home so far – the worst performance in the league.

Duisburg were completely outplayed by Nurnberg in their last home game on Saturday, losing 6-1. It was a very disappointing performance and is even more startling given the fact that they thrashed Bielefeld 4-0 only ten days ago. They looked helpless in all aspects of the game and the result was a big shock for Ilija Gruew. He has his work cut out, especially with a team who will be very low on confidence right now. However, they have won two and have only lost one of their three away matches.

Ingolstadt appear to have found their form and they are set to win this important game – home win.

SECOND PREDICTION: FIRST TEAM TO SCORE – INGOLSTADT

All of Ingolstadt’s four goals in their last league game arrived within 45 minutes while Duisburg conceded two of their six within 25 minutes. With the hosts bound to be buzzing and the visitors still trying to get their head round their devastating defeat last time out, I expect Ingolstadt to score first again here.


HEAD TO HEAD

Ingolstadt haven’t won their four last home matches against Duisburg, drawing three times.

Sonntag, 17. September 2017

Greuther Fürth - Fortuna Düsseldorf

Dusseldorf to continue their unbeaten run

TEAM NEWS

Greuther Furth’s Mathis Bolly and Secan Sararer miss again with injury concerns. They will be unavailable for several more weeks.

Dusseldorf will miss first ‘keeper Michael Rensing again with a broken rib but can count on a strong squad with all other players ready for this encounter.

Greuther Furth

Suspended: None

Doubtful: None

Injured/unavailable: Mathis Bolly (muscle problems), Secan Sararer (unspecified)

Dusseldorf

Suspended: None

Doubtful: None

Injured/unavailable: Michael Rensing (broken rib)

MATCH PREVIEW

MAIN PREDICTION: DRAW

After four defeats in a row, Greuther Furth managed to claim their first 2.Bundesliga point this season when drawing 1-1 at Dresden last time out. With interim coach Mriko Dickhaut on the sidelines, the team showed a different face compared to recent weeks. Nevertheless, the result was not deserved as Dresden controlled the game and should have decided it early. It was Dickhaut’s last game as all hopes are now on Damir Buric who takes over as head coach. He has arrived from Austrian club Admira Modling and he will now focus on leading his new team out of the relegation zone. However,  the 53-years old  has a busy week ahead of him as he has to prepare his squad for three league matches in just one week.

Dusseldorf’s excellent record of four win and one draw looks likely to be extended against Greuther Furth away from home this weekend. The team have won four in a row, with Braunschweig the only team they have not managed to beat so far. They have also kept a clean sheet in two of their five matches and scored at least two goals in every game. Following their 3-2 win against Union Berlin last time out, they are top of the league and three points ahead of Darmstadt in second.

Damir Buric will give Greuther Furth a much needed boost and despite their abysmal start to the campaign, I expect them to claim a point here, with a valuable draw against high-flying Dusseldorf.

SECOND PREDICTION: FIRST TEAM TO SCORE – GREUTHER FURTH

Six of the last seven encounters between Greuther Furth and Dusseldorf have seen the respective home team score first. With hosts Greuther Furth desperate to return to better days, I would not be surprised if they found the net first here too.

HEAD TO HEAD

Greuther Furth have won the last four meetings against Dusseldorf at home. Overall, they have a positive record against Dusseldorf, losing only two, drawing two and winning four of the last eight matches.

VfL Bochum - FC Heidenheim

Bochum set to continue their run

TEAM NEWS

Bochum are still without Jannik Bandowski, Partick Fabian, Timo Perthel and Nico Rieble who are all injured, but none of them has played an important so far this season.

Heidenheim have no important injuries to worry about, with Denis Thomalla their only absentee.

Bochum

Suspended: None

Doubtful: None

Injured/unavailable: Jannik Bandowski (lung), Patrick Fabian (nose); Timo Perthel, Nico Rieble (both knee)

Heidenheim

Suspended: None

Doubtful: None

Injured/unavailable: Denis Thomalla (unspecified)

MATCH PREVIEW

MAIN PREDICTION: HOME WIN

After a horrible start to the new season without a win in three matches, Bochum have managed to turn things around and are coming off two wins in a row. However, their winner against Dresden before the international break arrived late, only two minutes from time, while they came from behind with two goals in the last nine minutes against Darmstadt last time out. Neverthless, coach Ismail Atalan’s men are improving from week to week and have now accumulated seven points from their first five games. Their aim will now be to continue this way in order to close the three-point gap between themselves and the top 3.

Heidenheim are no way near the team they were last season and have found it difficult to score so far, with just four goals in five games. They sit almost at the bottom of the table and have to improve a lot in the upcoming weeks. Heidenheim’s coach Frank Schmidt has not managed to get the season going, with four defeats and only one win, as Heidenheim lost 3-1 at home against newly-promoted Regensburg last time out. He has to find a solution quickly as it will otherwise be very hard to see him on the sidelines in the upcoming weeks.

Bochum have found their form while Heidenheim struggle more week after week. I’ll go with a home win here.

SECOND PREDICTION: HALF TIME HAD – HOME WIN

Bochum have led at half time in two of their last three home games against Heidenheim. With the hosts on a good run and the visitors going through a crisis, I expect Bochum to lead again after 45 minutes.

HEAD TO HEAD

Bochum have not lost against Heidenheim in three home matches. They have won twice and drawn one.