Following the recent international break, the Bundesliga returns this weekend and one fixture sees Mainz 05 welcome Bayer Leverkusen to the Opel Arena.
Both sides have had a difficult start to the 2020-21 campaign, with Mainz losing all three of their matches and Leverkusen drawing all three of theirs. Mainz are therefore one of three teams still on zero points in the Bundesliga at the moment.
A win is therefore vital for both sides, and they will be desperate for the three points on Saturday.
Mainz 05 vs Bayer Leverkusen Head-to-Head
Both sides have been in pretty awful form to begin 2020-21. Not only have Mainz lost all three of their opening fixtures, but their defence has been worryingly porous. They’ve let in a total of 11 goals in those three matches while scoring just two in return.
Leverkusen, meanwhile, has picked up three draws, but on the plus side, one of those games was against Champions League contenders RB Leipzig. However, after losing Kai Havertz in the summer, how well they can do this season remains to be seen.
Historically at least, Leverkusen hold an advantage over their opponents this weekend. Die Werkself have beaten Mainz on seven of their last eight meetings, and the 2018-19 season saw them pick up a thumping 5-1 win at the Opel Arena.
Mainz 05 form guide: W-L-L-L
Bayer Leverkusen form guide: W-D-D-D
Mainz 05 vs Bayer Leverkusen Team News
Mainz should be able to call upon a number of players who have been sidelined recently. Ji Dong Won has reportedly recovered from a foot injury, while Moussa Niakhate is available again following his one-game suspension.
However, Stefan Bell, Pierre Kunde and Edimilson Fernandes have not played this season due to positive COVID-19 tests, and are all doubtful for this clash.
Doubtful: Stefan Bell, Pierre Kunde, Edimilson Fernandes
Leverkusen boss Peter Bosz will be without a trio of players due to injury. Winger Paulinho, forward Patrik Schick and right-back Santiago Arias are all sidelines, although Schick will expect to return by the end of October.
Injured: Paulinho, Patrik Schick, Santiago Arias
Mainz 05 vs Bayer Leverkusen Predicted XI
Mainz 05 predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Robin Zentner, Philipp Mwene, Jeremiah St. Juste, Moussa Niakhate, Danny Latza, Pierre Kunde Malong, Ji Dong Won, Jean-Paul Boetius, Robin Quaison, Jean-Philippe Mateta
Mainz 05 vs Bayer Leverkusen Prediction
Mainz will be desperate to pick up their first win of the season here, but it seems unlikely that they’ll get it. Leverkusen have not been in the best form thus far during the current campaign, but they’ve played some tricky sides, and on paper at least, they’re far stronger.
With attacking talents like Leon Bailey, Moussa Diaby and Lucas Alario – even without Patrik Schick – they should have enough firepower to overwhelm the Mainz defence, giving Leverkusen their first Bundesliga win of 2020-21.
Prediction: Mainz 05 0-2 Bayer Leverkusen