Bayern Munich welcome Mainz to the Allianz Arena on Sunday for a key match in the Bundesliga title race.
The Bavarians have had mixed fortunes in the last week, overtaking rivals Borussia Dortmund at the top of the table before being emphatically knocked out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage. They will still be reeling from that 3-1 defeat to Liverpool, but must refocus on domestic matters if they are to get their season back on track.
Opponents Mainz currently sit 13th in the Bundesliga standings and go in to the match in terrible form. They have lost four of their last six games, with a number of those results looking somewhat embarassing for Sandro Schwarz’s men.
Here’s 90min’s preview of the match.
Where to Watch
|When is Kick Off?||Sunday 17 March|
|What Time is Kick Off?||17:00 (GMT)|
|Where is it Played?||Allianz Arena|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||BT Sport 2|
Niko Kovac has three injury concerns for the match on Sunday. Attacking midfielder Meritan Shabani has a muscular problem that he picked up last weekend and is unlikely to be available. Corentin Tolisso is close to a return from the cruciate ligament rupture that has kept him out since September, but will probably be given more time to recover.
Arjen Robben will also be missing for the clash due to a calf strain. Aside from the Dutchman and the two midfielders, Kovac has a full compliment from which to choose, with no suspensions depriving him of players.
Mainz have two
Goalkeeper Rene Adler and full-back Phillipp Mwene have been unavailable due to serious knee injuries since May and November, respectively. Emil Berggreen completes the list for Schwarz, the forward continuing rehab after a muscular tear.
|Bayern Munich||Neuer; Kimmich, Hummels, Süle, Alaba; Goretzka, Thiago, Gnabry, James, Coman; Lewandowksi.|
|Mainz||Müller; Brosinski, Bell, Niakhite, Martin; Gbamin, Kunde, Latza; Boetius, Quaison, Mateta.|
Head to Head Record
The visitors have not won any of the last five meetings between these two, securing just one draw in that run. However, they did push the Bundesliga champions hard in December,
That run of form has taken them to first position after months of having to chase Dortmund. However, they will have had their confidence severely damaged by events against Liverpool on Wednesday night.
A 5-1 home loss at the hands of Bayer Leverkusen severely dampened the mood at the Opel Arena, with the following week’s defeat at lowly Augsburg only worsening things.
Here’s how the sides got on in their last five fixtures:
|Bayern Munich 1-3 Liverpool (13/2)||Mainz 0-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach (09/2)|
|Bayern Munich 6-0 Wolfsburg (09/2)||Hertha Berlin 2-1 Mainz (02/2)|
|Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-5 Bayern Munich (02/2)||Mainz 3-0 Schalke (23/2)|
|Bayern Munich 1-0 Hertha Berlin (23/2)||Wolfsburg 3-0 Mainz (16/2)|
|Liverpool 0-0 Bayern Munich (19/2)||Mainz 1-5 Bayer Leverkusen (08/2)|
Interestingly, Bayern have the oldest squad in the league, whilst their opponents have the youngest. That inexperience could cost Schwarz’s men as they will have to be impeccable in all areas if they are to overcome this powerful Bavarian machine.
Unfortunately for Mainz, the possibility of an upset looks unlikely given their fortunes of late. Bayern should have more than enough to secure a straightforward victory that will keep them on track for a seventh consecutive league title.
Prediction: Bayern 3-0 Mainz