Borussia Dortmund are searching for a third consecutive victory in the Bundesliga
Bochum look set for a sustained battle against relegation to the second tier this term
Borussia Dortmund look to stay within touching distance of the top spot before the World Cup
The odds for Borussia Dortmund vs Bochum are taken from the DraftKings sportsbook - sign up with the link above in exchange for $1000 in free bets.
Edin Terzic’s side should encounter few difficulties against the team with the worst defensive record in the Bundesliga.
Back Borussia Dortmund to win and over 3.5 goals on Saturday. (+105)
Even as they sit at the summit of the standings after 12 games, few followers of German soccer truly believe that Union Berlin can win the Bundesliga title this season. But the moment that seemed to cement their status as top-four contenders at the very least was a 2-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the middle of last month.
That was a statement win for a team that was in the 2. Bundesliga as recently as 2019. It was also a fully deserved one. For BVB, the result demonstrated that Bayern Munich might not be the only team they could struggle to catch this season. Indeed, the defeat in the capital meant Edin Terzic’s side had won just one of their previous five encounters, leaving them way down in eighth place.
The picture does not look quite so gloomy a couple of weeks on. For starters, Dortmund have climbed into fourth following a 5-0 thrashing of Stuttgart and a narrower, but equally impressive, 2-1 defeat of Eintracht Frankfurt. They have also booked their spot in the knockout phase of the Champions League after World Cup 2022.
Much could still change before the Bundesliga breaks off for the tournament in Qatar. While there are just two rounds of fixtures remaining in the Premier League, Ligue 1, and La Liga, Germany’s top flight will squeeze in three more matches over the next fortnight.
If Dortmund were to collect nine points from nine, they would probably close the gap to Union and Bayern - and maybe even overtake one or both. But if they drop points on a couple of occasions, their title chances would become even slimmer.
The stakes are high, then, particularly for the upcoming trips to Wolfsburg and Borussia Monchengladbach. Before then, BVB simply must get the job done against Bochum at Signal Iduna Park.
The objective for Bochum going into the 2022/23 campaign was simple: avoid second-season syndrome. Promoted to the Bundesliga in 2021, they proceeded to finish 13th last term. From the middle of October onwards, Thomas Reis’ side did not enter the bottom three once.
In the end, they finished with a substantial nine-point buffer above the sole relegation play-off spot. That was an impressive accomplishment for a side that would have settled for surviving by a much more slender margin.
Bochum are not the first team (and they will not be the last) to do well in their first season in the top flight, then struggle the following year. And the struggle is an accurate word. After six straight defeats at the beginning of the campaign, Bochum dismissed Reis. They have improved a little under Thomas Letsch but nevertheless, go into this weekend’s game in 17th place.
Bochum might not be bottom of the table but that is mostly because Schalke have been even more dismal. Already four points adrift of safety, they will not want that gap to grow much bigger before the World Cup.
Bochum lost some key players in the summer, including Maxim Leitsch, Armel Bella-Kotchap, Sebastian Polter, and Milos Pantovic, and their replacements have mostly struggled to fill their shoes up to now. Relegation is by no means a certainty, but the best online sportsbooks do not like Bochum’s chances of avoiding the drop.
Bochum’s primary problem this season has been an inability to keep things tight at the back. The side with the worst defensive relegation in the Bundesliga has been relegated in each of the last five seasons, which does not bode well for a team that has shipped a league-high 32 goals in just 12 matches - an average of 2.66 per game.
Dortmund have had their own defensive struggles in recent seasons, but they have not fared too badly in that regard so far in 2022/23.
Following the departure of Erling Haaland to Manchester City in the summer, BVB have found things more difficult at the other end of the field. It does not help that Sebastien Haller, Haaland’s intended replacement, has not played yet this season as he undergoes treatment for testicular cancer.
Dortmund stuck five goals past Stuttgart in their last home game, though, and we could see a similarly one-sided encounter on Saturday. Bochum are not the type of team that will be able to hold BVB at arm’s length, and once the hosts score the first goal there is a real danger that the floodgates could open.
Back Dortmund to keep up the pressure on Freiburg, Bayern Munich and Union Berlin above them by beating Bochum in a game featuring more than 3.5 goals.
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Teams: Borussia Dortmund vs Bochum
Location: Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany
Date and Time: Saturday, 5 November 2022, 10.30 AM EDT
How to Watch: ESPN+
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Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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