It’s time for VfL’s first away trip of the new season. At least in the Bundesliga. This Saturday, we will be facing TSG Hoffenheim away from home. An opponent we enjoyed playing against last season as we won both encounters. Will we continue this series? We don’t know. But we know a little bit about Hoffenheim, and as usual we present that in our LOOK AHEAD:

THE OPPONENT

TSG haven’t really got rolling so far. In the DFB-Pokal, they racked up a 2-0 win against SV Rödinghausen, but they had to go into extra time against the regional league team. It was not until the 115th minute that new signing Ozan Kabak finally scored the opener for new manager Breitenreiter’s team. It is quite likely that Kabak will also get his chance to make his first home appearance this Saturday. Skipper Benjamin Hübner made his comeback after a long injury break but must take a break again and won’t be fit to play against us. Kabak is certainly one of the new signings with the beast chances to play regularly in the future. Another is Grischa Prömel, also a cup goal scorer for TSG. The highly talented midfielder has returned to his former youth club after seven years and should play a central role in the team of our upcoming opponent. Unfortunately, we know that he can score. Still wearing the Union Berlin shirt, he scored against us at the last matchday of the last season. Most recently, the Kraichgauer signed the defensive players Angelino (RB Leipzig) and Stanley Nsoki (FC Brugge), – certainly high potential players. But they also had to let top quality players go – David Raum is of course the most prominent player on the list. The German international joined Champions League club RB Leipzig after a strong season. There is also the loss of Florian Grillitsch, whose contract expired in the summer. There is one we don't want to forget, and that is Kostas Stafylidis. The left-back is now a permanent player with us, much to the delight of the blue and white fan community.

THE COACH
André Breitenreiter is back in the Bundesliga. The native of Lower Saxony left German professional football at the beginning of 2019 when things went nowhere for him at Hannover. It took over two years for the former striker to return to the main stage. Not in Germany, but in Switzerland. The comeback was a success, and in a big way. With FC Zurich, Breitenreiter became Swiss champion, the first national title since 2009. Sensational performance, which also put the head coach (back) in the spotlight. After the pre-season, Sebastian Hoeneß and Hoffenheim went separate ways, and a new head coach was to be found. Breitenreiter, who had already proven himself in the Bundesliga with SC Paderborn and Schalke, was quickly chosen. Now it was Sinsheim. Thomas Reis, who once played with Breitenreiter in the junior national team, was delighted and has followed his former teammate's progress to this day. Breitenreiter played three times against VfL so far. First in the DFB-Pokal with TSV Havelse, then twice a manager of SC Paderborn. Two of these encounters ended in defeat for Breitenreiter. So, on Saturday, it's also a question of not improving the opposing coach's record.

THE RECORD
Talking about facts and figures. There have been six encounters of VfL Bochum 1848 and TSG Hoffenheim to the day. All matches took place in the Bundesliga. So there have been a couple of years, where we might not have met. Our first away match in Sinsheim was in 2009 – a 3-0 win, with Stanislav Sestak scoring all three goals. After no less than 11.5 years, it wasn’t until last season that we were back in competitive action. And just look at that, the team from South Germany were particularly convenient for us in the recent past. Both games ended in VfL's favour. Away from home, it was Takuma Asano’s big day, as he scored both goals in the 2-1 win. A repeat? With pleasure!

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