Bayern Munich travel to the Opel Arena in order to maintain their winning streak as they face Mainz in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Matchday 20 action of the 2019-20 Bundesliga continues on Saturday, with record champions Bayern Munich travelling to the Opel Arena to face Mainz, as they look to close the gap top table toppers RB Leipzig.
Mainz have not been at their best lately and are only a point above the relegation playoffs place. The hosts come into the game on the back of a 3-1 drubbing at the hands of Borussia Monchengladbach. New manager Achim Beierlorzer has had a mixed bag of a start with consistency eluding the team.
On the other hand, Bayern will be upbeat after their 5-0 win over Schalke and are now just a point adrift of league leaders RB Leipzig. Ever since a 1-2 defeat to Monchengladbach, Hansi Flick’s men have turned their form around and have been on a winning spree, triumphing in their last five league matches.
Last time these sides met was at the Allianz Arena this season. In a complete mismatch, the Bavarians ran riot, winning 6-1, with Jean-Paul Boetius getting the consolation goal for Mainz. Ahead of the reverse fixture, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both the sides.
Team News and Tactics
1.FSV Mainz 05
There is good news for Achim Beierlorzer as he will have the services of newly-signed Dutch defender Jeffrey Bruma. The 28-year-old has joined the club on loan from Wolfsburg and has loads of experience to help provide stability to the backline. Beierlorzer’s only worry is going to be young midfielder Ridle Baku’s suspension from this match.
Mainz are set to line up in the 4-2-3-1 formation, with Robin Zentner remaining their mainstay between the sticks. In defence, Ronael Pierre-Gabriel and Aaron Caricol are likely to slot in the full-back slots, with Bruma coming in to play alongside French defender Moussa Niakhate at the heart of the Mainz defence.
In midfield, Baku will be missed, but Danny Latza is likely to take his place, with Jeremiah St. Juste accompanying Latza in the double pivot. Up ahead, Karim Onisiwo and Robin Quaison will provide width on the flanks, with Jean-Paul Boetius playing in the hole behind the striker. Upfront, French forward Jean-Philippe Mateta will continue to lead the line.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Zentner; Pierre-Gabriel, Niakhaté, Bruma, Caricol; Latza, St. Juste; Onisiwo, Boëtius Quaison; Mateta
Bayern Munich have been in red hot form recently and the best news for Hansi Flick is Kingsley Coman’s return to full training, which leaves only Lucas Hernandez and Javi Martinez out on the treatment table.
Flick should continue with the same team which won 5-0 against Schalke, with Manuel Neuer being the pick under the bar. Benjamin Pavard has made the right-back position his own while Alphonso Davies is set to start on the left. Jerome Boateng has been solid recently and will be partnered by David Alaba.
In midfield, Joshua Kimmich will provide the necessary cover and recycle possession while his partner Thiago Alcantara will control the tempo of the game and be the creative nucleus of the side. Up ahead, Leon Goretzka is in great form and will play in an advanced role just behind the forwards.
In attack, Flick has worked wonders, with Thomas Muller as the German continues to shine in an inverted right-wing position. Serge Gnabry may start this game instead of Ivan Perisic on the left flank, with Robert Lewandowski being the central striker.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1) Neuer; Pavard, Boateng, Alaba, Davies; Kimmich, Thiago; Muller, Goretzka, Gnabry; Lewandowski
- Mainz and Bayern Munich have faced off on 25 occasions in the past, with Bayern winning 18 matches and losing just 4, while the other three have been won by Saturday’s hosts.
- Mainz have lost their seven last Bundesliga home matches against Bayern Munich. It is the move they have ever gone against any team without winning in the competition’s history.
- Bayern Munich have scored the most number of goals in Bundesliga till now this term (55) and have the best goal difference as well (+33). On the other hand, Mainz have the worst defence in the league along with Werder Bremen, having conceded 44 goals till now.
- Mainz have conceded a league-high of 16 goals in the last quarter of the games this season in the Bundesliga.
- Bayern Munich have won five of their last nine Bundesliga games by a margin of three or more goals.
Player to Watch
The 24-year-old midfielder is finally realising his potential at Bayern Munich this season. Goretzka also notched up his first goal in Bundesliga against his former side in the last match and has adapted to a new advanced role very smoothly.
Goretzka’s wonder goal made the headline last week and his confidence looks to be on a new level. Bayern Munich fans will now hope that the German international can be the player he is destined to be, with his credentials and capabilities. The game against Mainz will be another opportunity for Goretzka to prove his worth and be the difference between the two sides.
1.FSV Mainz 05 0-5 Bayern Munich
Just like the reverse fixture which ended 6-1 in favour of the reigning champions, Mainz are in for another drubbing. It will be a big deal if Achim Beierlorzer’s men can salvage something from this game.
The gulf in quality between the two sides is evident and considering their respective defensive and attacking records, it looks like a long and tough day beckons the Mainz defenders against the highest scoring side in the league. We at The Hard Tackle predict a 5-0 win for the visitors as they push for the top spot.