Bayern Munich - Mainz Preview: Flying Bavarians host Tuchel's side
Jupp Heynckes' side have won all four of their competitive games this season as they look to wrestle the Bundesliga title away from Borussia Dortmund
By Enis Koylu
Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Badstuber
Shaqiri, Muller, Ribery
Zabavnik, Kirchhoff, Noveski, Caligiuri
Muller, Ivanschitz, Choupo-Moting
Bayern Munich boss Jupp Heynckes looks set to be forced into one change from the team that thrashed Stuttgart 6-1 a fortnight ago, with Xherdan Shaqiri coming back in for Arjen Robben, who sustained a thigh injury in the course of his absence on international duty with Netherlands.
Elsewhere, €40 million signing Javi Martinez will be kept on the bench by Luiz Gustavo, who will continue in the deep-lying midfield positions next to Bastian Schweinsteiger, who is fit to start despite missing Germany's recent World Cup qualifiers against Faroe Islands and Austria.
Mario Mandzukic will continue up front in the place of Mario Gomez, who is recovering from ankle surgery, full-backs Diego Contento, David Alaba and Rafinha remain sidelined, meaning that Philipp Lahm will play on the right-hand side of defence, with Holger Badstruber shifted out to left-back.
Meanwhile, Thomas Tuchel is expected to name one change from the starting line-up that lost 1-0 to Greuther Furth two weeks ago, with Radoslav Zabavnik coming in for Niko Bungert. Elsewhere, they should be unchanged.
Eugen Polanski remains with a knee problem, while Ivan Klasnic and Heinz Muller are both unvailable due to sprained ankles.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Bayern Munich also scored nine goals, with only one in reply, in their opening two Bundesliga games 25 years ago, but only managed to record a second-placed finish at the end of the season.
- Roten midfielder Thomas Muller (pictured, right) will be playing this game two days after turning 23. The Germany international has scored four goals in as many competitive games this season, including one against arch-rivals Borussia Dortmund.
- The Bavarians beat Mainz 5-4 on penalties in the third place play-off of the 2011 LIGAtotal! Cup in 2011
- Mainz managed to earn a 0-0 draw in this fixture at the end of last season and a 2-1 win the campaign before.
- Croatian striker Ivan Klasnic is an international colleague of Bayern Munich's Mario Mandzukic, who moved to the Allianz Arena this summer from Wolfsburg.
- Mainz also faced Bavarian opposition a fortnight ago, when they were beaten 1-0 at home by Greuther Furth.
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Top 3 Predictions
FC Bayern München 3-0 Mainz
- 19.57 %
FC Bayern München 4-0 Mainz
- 18.62 %
FC Bayern München 5-0 Mainz
- 9.31 %
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Oct 19, 2013||FC Bayern München 4 - Mainz 1|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Feb 2, 2013||Mainz 0 - FC Bayern München 3|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Sep 15, 2012||FC Bayern München 3 - Mainz 1|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Apr 14, 2012||FC Bayern München 0 - Mainz 0|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Nov 27, 2011||Mainz 3 - FC Bayern München 2|
|FC Bayern München|
|Dec 10, 2013||FC Bayern München 2 - Manchester City FC 3||UCL|
|Dec 7, 2013||Werder Bremen 0 - FC Bayern München 7||GER1|
|Dec 4, 2013||FC Augsburg 0 - FC Bayern München 2||GERC|
|Nov 30, 2013||FC Bayern München 2 - Eintracht Braunschweig 0||GER1|
|Nov 27, 2013||PFC CSKA Moskva 1 - FC Bayern München 3||UCL|
|5||Daniel Van Buyten||Defender|
|10||Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting||Striker|
Jupp Heynckes was quick to warn Javi Martinez that he will have to work hard to secure a regular starting spot at the Allianz Arena, and although he is unlikely to start against Mainz, the Spaniard will be eager to stake his claim for more playing time in his new club's coming matches. He made a steady cameo in the 6-1 win over Stuttgart a fortnight ago, but having had more time to settle into his new surroundings, will now be able to kick on and assert himself.
Bayern Munich have made an excellent start to their new Bundesliga campaign defined by fluid attacks and stern defending, and Mainz are likely to be up against it from the off on Saturday. Defence will be vital, but the hosts will still be able to create chances. The busiest man on the pitch is likely to be Christian Wetklo, and the 32-year-old goalkeeper will need to be on top form and seize his chance in the first team if his side are to get anything from Saturday's clash.
Mainz may boast a formidable record heading into this match, but Bayern Munich are simply a far, far better side. Beyond that, Jupp Heynckes' side have started this season in tremendous form, gliding past Greuther Furth and smashing Stuttgart in an extraordinary manner. Accordingly, I'd expect the hosts to record a routine victory against the Rhineland outfit and continue their early assault on the Bundesliga.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed