VFL Bochum vs VFL Wolfsburg preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups, and ones to watch
Photo by DeFodi images via Getty Images

VFL Bochum will welcome VFL Wolfsburg to the Vonovia Ruhrstadion on Sunday with both teams hoping to start the new year with a win.

Bochum will go into the match having suffered a narrow one goal to nil defeat against Union Berlin just before the winter break, which means that they find themselves sitting in 13th place.

With a victory on Sunday Bochum have the opportunity to leap-frog RB Leipzig and go into tenth place, however, if they lose they could find themselves sitting in 16th place with Armenia Bielefeld who currently sit in 17th just one point behind them.

Meanwhile, Wolfsburg go into the match having suffered a disastrous four-goal to nil defeat against Bayern Munich that finds them sitting in 14th place going into the match on Sunday.

Wolfsburg will know that a victory on Sunday could help get their season back on the track however like their opponents if they lose they could find themselves sitting in the relegation places.

Team News

Bochum head coach Thomas Reis has got four major concerns ahead of the match on Sunday. Saulo DercaliKostas Stafylidis, and  Simon Zoller are all expected to miss out due to injury while  Erhan Mašović will be unavailable due to suspension.

Meanwhile, Wolfsburg head coach Florian Kohfeldt has got a substantial injury list with many senior players not available. Strikers Daniel GinczekLukas NmechaAdmir Mehmedi, are all either injured or not available for selection with midfielders Xaver SchlagerDodi Lukebakio, Aster Vranckx, and defender William also set to miss out.

Predicted lineups

VFL Bochum: Riemann, Gamboa, Leitsch, Lampropoulos, Soares  Pantovic, Losilla, Rexhbecaj, Asano, Polter, Holtmann

VFL Wolfsburg: Casteels, Mbabu, Lacroix, Bornauw, Roussillon  Guilavogui, Arnold, Gerhardt, Waldschmidt, Weghorst, Steffen

Players to watch

Sebastian Polter

VFL Bochum have been fighting to stay up all season and have a relatively small budget compared to other teams in the league however the one player that has kept their hopes up is striker Sebastian Polter.

Polter is the top scorer for his club with six goals in 16 matches and although six goals might not appear like a lot for a small club like Bochum they are vital. Polter will need to be on top form if Bochum stands any chance of winning.

Wout Weghorst

With top scorer, Nmecha out injured for the match on Sunday Wolfsburg will have to find another source of goals. Fortunately, striker Wout Weghorst is a pretty good backup option.

Weghorst has scored six goals so far this season just two goals behind top scorer Nmecha and three goals clear of Ridle Baku in third. Although Weghorst might not be as fast as Nmecha he poses a danger from set-pieces and crosses with his height.

Last time out

The last time these two faced each other was last August when Wolfsburg won the match by one goal to nil.

The match started off at a ridiculous pace with  Baku smashing the ball against the post from inside the Bochum box when he should have really scored to make it one-nil to Wolfsburg. The match continued in frantic fashion with Bochum unable to cope with Wolfsburg's intensity. 

Then in the fourth minute, Bochum went down to ten men and conceded a penalty. Robert Tesche handled the ball on the line to divert Renato Steffen's goalbound header onto the post and after a VAR check the referee decided to send him off. 

However, even more Dramatically Weghorst managed to miss his penalty after it was brilliantly saved by Manuel Riemann diving to his left-hand side. 

With Bochum down to ten-man Wolfsburg started to swallow them up keeping all the football in their half of the pitch and not allowing Bochum to get out.

Finally, the relentless onslaught on the Bochum goal yielded reward in the 22nd minute. Weghorst received the ball in the box and from 11 yards out was able to turn and unleash a thunderous strike past Riemann in the Bochum goal to redeem himself for missing his penalty.

The second half was much of the same, Bochum defending deep for deer life while wave upon wave of green shirts tried to get a second goal and put the game to bed.

Weghorst, Jerome Roussillon, Baku, all had chances to kill the game off but either missed or were denied by Riemann in the Bochum goal. Then late on Bochum finally got a golden chance to get a surprise equaliser. Milos Pantovic got away from the Wolfsburg defenders and found himself one on one against Koen Casteels in the Wolfsburg goal, but the keeper came out on top saving with his legs.

How to watch

Unfortunately, the match will not be shown in the UK however fans in the USA can watch the match on ESPN+>