Rising to the occasion

Preview ahead of the final game of the 2023/24 season

Romano Schmid dribbles against several opponents.
Romano Schmid and Co. can expect an intense game (photo: W.DE).
preliminary report
Friday, 17.05.2024 / 15:30

On Saturday, 18th May (15:30 CEST), Werder Bremen will take to the pitch for the final time this season, ready to fight for the three points which could see them earn a place in the UEFA Conference League. Ole Werner’s men will have to rely on results elsewhere in order to seal continental qualification, while their opponents travel to the Weser seeking the point they need to ensure Bundesliga survival.

Squad update: Amos Pieper and Justin Njinmah are definite absentees for Saturday’s match. Otherwise, the Green-Whites have a clean bill of health, with Skelly Alvero back at full fitness. Head coach Ole Werner has ruled out fielding a rotated side in order to give departing players a send-off, with his focus firmly on climbing up the table.

Ole Werner on the opposition: “Bochum are a team who go man-for-man all over the pitch and put in an incredible number of challenges. It’s extremely difficult to move forward by passing your way through them. You’re forced to outplay their aggressive press. Conversely, they look to move forward more directly with long balls to their target men, who will then look to shoot on sight. It’s important for us to acclimatise to their style of play and get into a position where we can outclass our opponents.”

Looking to continue a positive record

Previous meetings: Werder have won 46 Bundesliga games against VfL Bochum, and fallen to defeat on only ten occasions. Indeed, SVW have just one defeat in the last 21 meetings between the sides. This season’s reverse fixture ended in a 1-1 draw, with Patrick Osterhage and Niklas Stark both netting from distance.

Boisterous Bochum: VfL Bochum average 214 challenges per game, more than any other team in the top-flight. Their energy has come in short bursts this season – while only Bayern are behind them in terms of total distance covered, they are in the Bundesliga’s top 6 for sprints and high-intensity runs.

Butscher’s rescue mission: Since taking charge of Bochum in early April, Heiko Butscher has picked up seven points in five games, leaving his team needing only a draw at the wohninvest WESERSTADION to achieve safety. Bochum have won twice away from home since Butscher’s arrival, including a 4-3 defeat of relegation rivals Union Berlin.

 

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