Advertisement

Düsseldorf enter Bundesliga play-off v Bochum full of confidence

Fortuna Duesseldorf's Andre Hoffmann plays the ball. Andreas Gora/dpa

Fortuna Düsseldorf go into the Bundesliga promotion/relegation play-off tie with Bochum in a confident mood and hope to have history on their side.

Düsseldorf finished third in the second division and will face the Bundesliga's 16th-place finishers Bochum away on Thursday and at home the following Monday.

Düsseldorf are among only three second-tier sides to prevail in the 15 play-off ties since they were re-introduced in 2009, in 2012 against Hertha Berlin.

"We know Bochum well, it's almost a neighbourhood duel," captain Andre Hoffmann said on the club website.

"These will be two very close games, especially at Castroper Strasse [in Bochum]. But we're going into the two duels with a lot of self-confidence and, together with our fans, will give everything we've got to achieve promotion."

Sporting director Christian Weber, who was part of the 2012 team, added: "We can expect two very intense games for which we will prepare meticulously from Monday onwards."

Düsseldorf seek a return to the top flight after four years while Bochum want to stay up for a third Bundesliga season in a row.

Bochum surrendered 15th place on the final top-flight matchday Saturday to Union Berlin after losing 4-1 at Werder Bremen and Union getting a last-gasp 2-1 win against Freiburg.

"We've already survived completely different situations and are definitely in a position to achieve the turnaround now and realize our potential. We are absolutely confident that we will prevail," Bochum sporting director Marc Lettau said.

Caretaker coach Heiko Butscher said: "As a first-division team, you're somehow always the favourite. There are two finals. One wants to stay in the league, the other wants to get into the league. We have to make it."

Holstein Kiel and St Pauli Hamburg have achieved direct promotion while Darmstadt and Cologne were relegated.

Sports director Christian Weber poses for a photo during the team's photo session. Bernd Thissen/dpa
Sports director Christian Weber poses for a photo during the team's photo session. Bernd Thissen/dpa