Mainz-Bayern Munich Preview: Bundesliga leaders look to keep up electric form
Jupp Heynckes' charges are yet to concede a goal in 2013, but they will have to be at their best against a home side, who are looking to maintain a great start in the Bundesliga
By Daniel Edwards
Pospech, Svensson, Noveski, Diaz
Muller, Ivanschitz, Caligiuri
Lahm, Dante, Van Buyten, Alaba
Muller, Kroos, Ribery
Suspended striker Adam Szalai joins the list of absences for the Bundesliga's fifth-placed team, who have built up a formidable reputation at home throughout an impressive 2012-13 season. The Hungarian scored twice in the side's last run-out, a 3-0 win away to Greuther Furth, but also picked up a yellow card that earned him a one-match suspension.
Ede is likely to replace Szalai, while defender Niko Bungert and midfielder Eric Choupu-Moting are still on the sidelines.
With no new injury or suspension concerns, Jupp Heynckes is likely to keep faith with the men who downed Stuttgart 2-0 in the last round of Bundesliga. That would mean more bench time for Arjen Robben and Mario Gomez, who are behind in the pecking order to Mario Mandzukic and Thomas Muller. Xherdan Shaqiri is one man likely to miss out on the trip to Mainz, after suffering an ankle injury.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Mainz have built up a fearsome reputation this season in front of their own fans. Only Borussia Dortmund and Greuther Furth have beaten Thomas Tuchel's men at the Coface Arena in the current campaign.
- The club's fifth place position before Saturday's clash matches the highest finish ever achieved in Germany's top division. Mainz set that record in 2010-11, also securing Europa League qualification.
- Suspended striker Szalai (right) is Mainz's top scorer in 2012-13, netting 11 goals to sit in fifth place in the overall standings.
- Despite fierce competition up front, Bayern Munich's top marksman is Mario Mandzukic, who has converted 12 so far.
- Die Roten downed Saturday's rivals with ease in their opening clash of 2012-13, running out 3-1 winners in Munich.
- The leaders have won a brilliant 15 games out of 19 this season, with only one defeat at the hands of Bayer Leverkusen to blot the copybook.
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Top 3 Predictions
Mainz 0-3 FC Bayern München
- 24.7 %
Mainz 0-2 FC Bayern München
- 17 %
Mainz 1-3 FC Bayern München
- 9.18 %
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Mar 22, 2014||Mainz 0 - FC Bayern München 2|
|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|
|Apr 19, 2014||Borussia Dortmund 4 - Mainz 2||GER1|
|Apr 12, 2014||Mainz 3 - Werder Bremen 0||GER1|
|Apr 5, 2014||Eintracht Frankfurt 2 - Mainz 0||GER1|
|Mar 29, 2014||Mainz 3 - FC Augsburg 0||GER1|
|Mar 25, 2014||Eintracht Braunschweig 3 - Mainz 1||GER1|
|5||Daniel Van Buyten||Defender|
With the free-scoring Szalai out through suspension, the onus in front of goal will most likely fall to the 25-year-old. The midfielder-cum-striker may have not seen much first-team football this season, but will be desperate to show his worth when his side face the league leaders.
It takes a special effort to keep a player of Arjen Robben's calibre out of the first team, but that is exactly what the Germany international is doing as his team continue to take down all-comers. The wily winger was on target against Stuttgart, and will hope to be amongst the goals again.
Mainz will not make life easy, but Bayern have been almost unstoppable during the first six months of the season and there is little reason to believe they cannot keep that form up. Die Roten should have enough to record a narrow victory.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed