Mainz - Borussia Dortmund Preview: Champions look to build on morale-boosting week
Jurgen Klopp's side have enjoyed a terrific triumph over Ajax on Wednesday night, and they will hope to add to their achievements in Europe when they return to Bundesliga action
By Alec Fenn
Pospech, Svensson, Noveski, Junior Diaz
Piszczek, Hummels, Subotic, Schmelzer
Blaszczykowski, Gotze, Reus
There is nothing quite like sealing your place in the knock-out phase of the Champions League to send you into the weekend with a spring in your step.
That is the case for Borussia Dortmund who swept Ajax aside 4-1 on Wednesday and confirmed that they are indeed a force to be reckoned with in Europe.
It has been a different story in the Bundesliga, however, with the reigning champions in fourth place on 22 points, nine points adrift of runaway leaders Bayern Munich heading into Saturday's game.
But their form since the 2-2 draw with Real Madrid on October 10 has been encouraging and back-to-back 3-1 wins over Augsburg and Greuther Furth leave BVB in rude health.
Mainz are enjoying a positive season of their own, though, and after finishing 13th in the division last season, the hosts sit in a respectable eighth place - just five behind Jurgen Klopp's side.
The visitors will be without Lars Bender who misses out with a nose injury, while Patrick Owomoyela continues his rehabilitation from surgery on a troublesome calf problem.
Niko Bungert, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Chinedu Edu are missing for Mainz through knee, fitness and hamstring problems respectively.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Borussia Dortmund have emerged 2-1 victors from their last two clashes with Mainz.
- BVB have won three and drawn two of their last five games in all competitions.
- Robert Lewandowski (right) has scored two goals in each of his last three games.
- Mainz's last victory over Dortmund came back in 2009 when they won 1-0 at the Coface Arena.
- Christian Heidel's team have won four of their five home games in the Bundesliga this season, losing just once.
- Goals have been hard to come by for Saturday's hosts, however, with just 15 scored from their 12 league games to date.
- A Mainz victory would move the club to within just two points of Jurgen Klopp's side in the table.
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Top 3 Predictions
Mainz 1-3 Borussia Dortmund
- 17.38 %
Mainz 0-2 Borussia Dortmund
- 17.05 %
Mainz 0-3 Borussia Dortmund
- 12.79 %
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Nov 30, 2013||Mainz 1 - Borussia Dortmund 3|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Apr 20, 2013||Borussia Dortmund 2 - Mainz 0|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Nov 24, 2012||Mainz 1 - Borussia Dortmund 2|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Mar 3, 2012||Borussia Dortmund 2 - Mainz 1|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Sep 24, 2011||Mainz 1 - Borussia Dortmund 2|
|Mar 1, 2014||Bayer 04 Leverkusen 0 - Mainz 1||GER1|
|Feb 21, 2014||Schalke 04 0 - Mainz 0||GER1|
|Feb 14, 2014||Mainz 2 - Hannover 96 0||GER1|
|Feb 8, 2014||VfL Wolfsburg 3 - Mainz 0||GER1|
|Feb 1, 2014||Mainz 2 - SC Freiburg 0||GER1|
Goals have been few and far between for Mainz with just 15 mustered in the league so far this season. Four of those have come from the boots of midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz and his position at the tip of a diamond formation will be key if the home side are to get a result.
There are few, if any, strikers in world football in as good a form as the Poland international at the time of writing. With four goals inside the last seven days and six in his last three matches, the 24-year-old looks to have put a stuttering start to the season behind him and will fancy his chances of adding to his tally.
The last two fixtures between the two sides have ended in 2-1 victories for Borussia Dortmund and the same could well happen again. Mainz are strong at home, but the confidence of that 4-1 victory over Ajax on Wednesday should be enough to get the reigning champions over the line on Saturday.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed