Bochum vs Koln
Bochum's previous season didn't go that bad as the team ended up at the sixth position finally. However, the truth is that they weren't involved much in the promotional battle and their position got decided in the last rounds. They have eight points less than third and play-off placed Holstein Kiel, but also eight points less than play-out placed Aue.
Obviously, with a bit less luck they could have had a far more different ending position. Anyhow, the team will try to build upon that season and improve further now. During the pre-season friendly matches they started well with victories over Zurich and Stoke, also a draws against Wolves and Gladbach (both tests that were played for one halftime only).
Their most recent friendlies saw them drawing against Monaco and suffering 1:0 defeat against Millwall last Saturday afternoon in the last rehearsal.
The team didn't change really a lot. They signed offensive midfielder Milos Pantovic from Bayern II, midfielders Maier from Hannover and Tesche from Birmingham also got striker Ganvoula from Anderlecht on loan deal. Offensive players Stoger left for Dusseldorf, while Gunduz was released on a free transfer. Defensive midfielder Tomas also left the club.
Left-back Jannik Bandowski is a long-term absentee.
Koln, of course, disappointed in the last season as the team ended up last in the Bundesliga suffering exclusion. They were eleven points behind the play-out placed Wolfsburg and stood without a chance to save the season-long time before the last round.
They were even involved in the Europa League group stage last season, something that probably didn't help them on the way to avoid relegation. Despite a very poor first part of the season, they improved in January and February and looked better - however, it wasn't enough in order to be more competitive in the relegation battle.
Striker Modeste left the club for the Chinese team, while they also sold left forward Bittencourt to Hoffenheim, striker Osako to Werder Bremen, right back Klunter to Hertha and midfielder Jojic to Basaksehir. Their aim to promote as soon as possible was obvious from the transfer window as they spent more than 12,5 million euros only for transfer fees.
Offensive midfielders Drexler came from Midtjylland and Schaub from Rapid Wien. Central back Czichos came from Holstein Kiel, while midfielder Hauptmann came from Dynamo Dresden. Right back Schmitz came from Leipzig with the team signing a couple of guys on a free transfer as well.
Central midfielder Marco Hoger is long term absentee.
Bochum did finish bit high last season, but with very low points difference in comparison to even relegating sides. Koln is more than determined to bounce back to Bundesliga right away and I'm sure that they are ready to make a really strong statement from the first round. Having that in mind, but also that many players showed a desire to stay and fight back, I see clear value with the away side here.
Bochum vs Koln prediction
Koln -0.25 Asian handicap @ 2.25 with Pinnacle