Bundesliga preview and tips: Goals in store as Borussia Monchengladbach host Bochum
Gladbach sit comfortably enough in midtable, but their season is more or less over with nothing to fight for, and they will once again be without European competition next term. Bochum, on the other hand, are in the midst of a difficult relegation battle and must begin to pick up points quickly considering the sudden resurgent form of Stuttgart and Schalke. Last weekend saw Bochum's closest relegation rivals Stuttgart defeat Gladbach 2-1 thanks to a late penalty from Tanguy Coulibaly. Farke's side deserved to lose that game despite boasting 59% possession, and his side were ultimately punished for ending the game with ten men after defender Ko Itakura was shown a straight red card for the foul that led to the winning penalty.
Both of these sides sit in the top five of the average xG per game rankings with Monchengladbach (2.97) just below Bochum (3.03). These teams are clearly both capable of creating chances but defensively are very suspect with Bochum conceding the most goals of any side this season with 67.
Suggested bet: Over 2.5 goals
Bochum picked up a hugely unexpected point in their 1-1 draw at home to title chasing Borussia Dortmund. Two early goals suggested a goalfest was imminent, but despite numerous huge chances on both sides, the game remained goalless thereafter and such an unexpected point could prove huge come the end of the season.
Both of these sides sit in the top five of the average xG per game rankings with Monchengladbach (2.97) just below Bochum (3.03). These teams are clearly both capable of creating chances but defensively are very suspect with Bochum conceding the most goals of any side this season with 67. Daniel Farke will be unable to call on the suspended Itakura, while top scorer Marcus Thuram is also unavailable due to a muscle injury. It is likely the Gladbach faithful have seen the last of the French forward with a summer move a certainty. Christoph Kramer missed the last game with illness, so he could make a return in midfield. Bochum have a largely full squad to choose from with Kevin Schotterbeck and Phillip Forster both still unavailable. With Stuttgart facing a very winnable game away at bottom-placed side Hertha Berlin, it is imperative for Bochum to pick up points in this one. Thomas Letsch's side have actually won more games this season than Stuttgart, but the 18 losses compared with Stuttgart's 14 is the reason these two sides are both on 28 points. Bochum have managed to score in all of their last seven matches, that trend should continue at an out of sorts Gladbach side missing a starting centre back in Itakura. The Foals will expect to win on home soil considering the quality difference between both sides, although they will know that one goal is unlikely enough here. Without Marcus Thuram, Farke will likely look to Alassane Plea to provide a goal threat, whilst former Germany winger Jonas Hofmann will be a huge threat to the Bochum defence. Over 2.5 at approximately 4/6 is worth taking, while Gladbach to win and both sides to score at 12/5 is a more risky but rewarding selection. Possible punt: Borussia Monchengladbach to win and both teams to score
Paul Bathurst provides football tips as Soccer Sharp on Tipstrr
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