The 2017/18 Bundesliga II seasons starts on Friday night with a fantastic fixture to look forward to between Bochum and St Pauli. Having enjoyed a prolonged 20-year spell in the Bundesliga between 1972 and 1992, Bochum were relegated to Bundesliga II in 1993. Since then they have been somewhat of a yoyo club, moving up and down from the Bundesliga.
Having enjoyed four seasons in the German top-flight, Bochum were relegated once more in 2010 and have remained in the Bundesliga II ever since.
St Pauli have endured mixed fortunes over the past 20 years. Twice since 1999 they have been in the Bundesliga but both times they were relegated at the first attempt. Their last campaign in the Bundesliga was 2010/11 and they were relegated, finishing bottom of the table.
Bochum finished 9th in the Bundesliga II last season and went into the final match against St Pauli knowing a midtable position was safe. However, it was a disappointing finish compared to the season before when they finished 5th and Bochum will be hoping to push further up the table this season.
Bochum were very difficult to beat at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion last season and they lost only 2 matches at home the whole campaign. One of those defeats came against St Pauli on the final day of the season but there was little to play for in that game.
St Pauli Form
St Pauli recovered from a poor start last season to finish above Bochum in 7th place. At Christmas it looked as though relegation was a serious possibility but a good run of results in the second half of the season helped lift them to safety.
Their run towards the end of the season means St Pauli are undefeated in their last 8 Bundesliga II games and they will be hoping to bring that form into the new season.
St Pauli have won their last 4 away Bundesliga II games in a row and have tasted just 1 defeat in their last 8 on the road.
Bochum have completed the signings of Lukas Hinterseer from FC Ingolstadt and Danilo Soares from TSG Hoffenheim, with both expected to start this match. Ismail Atalan has no injury or suspension concerns ahead of this game.
St Pauli will travel without Ryo Miyaichi as the winger is injured. New signing Sami Allagui may come into the team in a forward position and Cenk Sahin should start, having completed a permanent move from Istanbul Basaksehir.
Top Betting Tips
Without too many changes to the teams from last season, St Pauli will fancy their chances of recording another win at Bochum. St Pauli are 15/8 with William Hill to claim maximum points.
Last season Bochum kept only 3 cleans sheets in their 17 home games and St Pauli were averaging 2 goals per game towards the end of the campaign. However, St Pauli only kept 1 clean sheet themselves in their last 8 away games, so both teams will expect to get on the score sheet. St Pauli to win and both teams to score is 9/2 with Ladbrokes.
Finally, a good correct score prediction is 2-1 to St Pauli and this can be backed at 10/1 with William Hill.