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The Boys in Brown play host to VfL Bochum at the Millerntor on Saturday (1300 CET). To get you ready for the final league game of the year, we've put together a few facts on our forthcoming opponents.

Double premiere

Last week's 1-0 home win over 1860 Munich was a premiere for VfL Bochum, as it was the first time they had kept a clean sheet in a competitive game this term. The last time Gertjan Verbeek's shut out the opposition was on matchday 26 last season, when they beat Kaiserslautern 2-0. In between those two games Bochum conceded 42 goals in 23 league matches, plus another four in a 4-3 extra-time defeat at fourth-tier outfit Astoria Walldorf in the first round of the DFB Cup. In addition to the clean sheet against 1860, Bochum had a second premiere to celebrate. Russell Canouse, a striker who joined them on loan from Hoffenheim in summer, scored his first goal in 12 appearances in the 77th minute to seal the win.

Much better at home than away

With 16 games played, Bochum sit in mid-table on 21 points. This is primarily down to a decent record at the Ruhr Stadium. In addition to Eintracht Braunschweig, Verbeek's side are the only other team not to have lost at home this season. Four wins and four draws put them in sixth place in the home table. Away from home their form has been less impressive. Bochum have won just once on the road, a 4-2 success at Erzgebirge Aue. Apart from this one victory, they have lost five times and drawn twice, which is why they languish in 16th place in the away table.

Young Bochum duo

An average age of just 23.5 (source: transfermarkt.de) means Bochum are the youngest team in the league ahead of Kaiserslautern (24.2) and Heidenheim (24.4). It's therefore little surprise that the two youngest players to feature this season are from Bochum. Gökhan Gül was just 18 years, 4 months and 9 days old when he played in the 2-2 draw at Dresden in late November. His team-mate Görkem Saglam was only six days older in the 1-1 draw against Hannover at the back end of August.

Prolific from the bench

Bochum have scored 23 goals so far this term, more than half of them coming from Johannes Wurtz, Peniel Mlapa (5 each) and Felix Bastians (3). Wurtz has scored twice after coming on as a substitute. Gertjan Verbek has conjured up another three goals from the bench, with Jan Gyamerah, Nils Quaschner and Selim Gündüz all scoring as substitutes.

Injury worries

St. Pauli are not the only side to be plagued by injuries this season. Bochum travel to the Millerntor with several players either injured or carrying knocks. Definitely ruled out are captain Felix Bastians, Stefano Celozzi (both muscle tears), Patrick Fabian and Kevin Stöger (both cruciate ligaments), while Thomas Eisfeld, Görkem Saglam (both knee), Tom Baack (ankle) and Jannick Bandowski (foot) are doubtful.


Photo: DFL