Two sides expected to battle it out at the bottom of the Bundesliga this season meet on Friday as Darmstadt 98 play host to Bochum 1848. How early is too early for a six-pointer?
Both sides are already looking nervously down at the relegation trapdoor after tough starts. After six seasons outside the top-flight Darmstadt started the 2023/24 campaign with three consecutive defeats, and an 8-0 defeat at Bayern Munich last time out doesn’t inspire confidence.
That’s a word that certainly can’t be associated with a Bochum side that has failed to win a single game this season.
The heavy defeat to Bayern was costly in more ways than one for Darmstadt. An incredible first-half saw three players dismissed, with Klaus Gjasula and Matej Maglica seeing red for Die Lilien. Thomas Isherwood and Cristoph Zimmermann both came on in that game and could replace the absent defenders.
Fabio Torsiello has been ruled out with a muscular problem while Aaron Seydel is rated as doubtful with a similar issue.
Bochum face fewer problems in the disciplinary department but more in the treatment room with Cristopher Antwi-Adjei, Matus Bero and Lys Mousset among those listed as injured.
Ex-Rotherham defender Jordi Osei-Tutu is also doubtful with a thigh strain as manager Thomas Letsch considers changes to find a winning formula.
Darmstadt are 11/8 favourites to win their third Bundesliga game of the season while Bochum can be found at 11/5 to break their league duck. A draw is priced at 5/2.
A chronic lack of clean sheets for these sides mean both teams to score is available at 1/2, but those backing a cagey affair can find both teams to score – no at 6/4.
Darmstadt 98 to win & both teams to score @ 11/4
Before defeats to Bayern and RB Leipzig the home side had started finding ways to win. Darmstadt claimed victories over Werder Bremen and Augsburg at the beginning of last month, while they caused plenty of problems for Bayern last weekend before two red cards caused a collapse.
They were also three goals to the good at home against Borussia Monchengladbach before imploding in the second half – would a winless Bochum be able to mount a similar comeback?
Bochum will surely fancy their chances of testing the Darmstadt backline, though, particularly with the enforces absences of Gjasula and Maglica.
Darmstadt have also failed to keep a single clean sheet this season. Bochum haven’t fared much better, managing just one shutout.
Over 52.5 booking points @ 13/8
Both clubs will be desperate to win here, meaning the stakes are unusually high on matchday ten. The stress of being back in the Bundesliga looks to have already got to Darmstadt, who sit top of the table for ill-discipline with 27 yellows and three reds.
Bochum are yet to receive a red but have racked up 22 yellows themselves and, like with Darmstadt, there have been over 52.5 booking points in each of their last three games.
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