Mainz 05, facing the threat of relegation, will try to improve their survival chances in the Bundesliga by hosting Werder Bremen at Mewa Arena on Saturday afternoon.
This is the first encounter between the two since last September, when Bremen enjoyed a 4-0 win at home – their largest victory and Mainz’s worst loss of the season so far.
Mainz is in danger of dropping out of the Bundesliga after 15 years due to an eight-match streak without a win.
The team recently lost 1-0 to Eintracht Frankfurt, marking their ninth defeat this season, after a goal by Mario Gotze.
Jan Siewert, who took over Mainz last November, has only won one out of nine games, leaving the team 17th in the table, six points from safety after Union Berlin’s victory over Darmstadt.
Mainz hopes to turn things around with three upcoming home games, despite having the league’s poorest home performance, with just five points and six goals from eight matches.
Facing Werder Bremen and Union Berlin next, Mainz sees a chance to gather crucial points, especially since they’ve earned five points in their last four Bundesliga matches against Bremen.
Werder Bremen comes into the game with momentum, having not lost in six Bundesliga matches, their best run in over three years, including victories against Bayern Munich and Freiburg.
After beating Freiburg 3-1, thanks to goals from Marvin Ducksch, Justin Njinmah, and Julian Malatini, Bremen moved up to ninth in the table, 11 points clear of relegation.
Bremen aims for three consecutive Bundesliga wins for the first time since March 2019, but winning away at Mainz, where they’ve struggled this season, remains challenging.
Mainz 05 Bundesliga form:
L D L D D L
Mainz 05 form (all competitions):
D L D W D L
Werder Bremen Bundesliga form:
W D D D W W
Mainz will be without Nelson Weiper and Stefan Bell due to injuries, while Lee Jae-sung is at the Asian Cup.
Edimilson Fernandes and Brajan Gruda are doubtful after missing the last game. Danny da Costa might replace Silvan Widmer, and Ludovic Ajorque could start. Newcomers Nadiem Amiri and Jessic Ngankam might debut.
For Bremen, Milos Veljkovic, Amos Pieper, Leon Opitz are injured, and Naby Keita is at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Mitchell Weiser is expected back from a minor injury. Marvin Ducksch, leading with eight goals, and Justin Njinmah will lead the attack, with new loanee Skelly Alvero possibly debuting.
Mainz 05 possible starting lineup:
Van den Berg, Kohr, Caci;
Widmer, Barreiro, Krauss, Mwene;
Werder Bremen possible starting lineup:
Stark, Friedl, Jung, Lynen,
Weiser, Schmid, Stage, Agu;
We predict: Mainz 05 1-2 Werder Bremen
Although Bremen easily won their last match against Mainz, we expect a closer game this time. Both teams have had defensive issues, suggesting a lively match. However, Bremen’s stronger attack may help them secure another win.