Preview: Mainz05 vs Borussia Dortmund
Saturday’s match at the Coface Arena sees a return of one of Mainz’s favorite sons – Jurgen Klopp to the club where he spent more than 15 years as a player and then as the manager responsible for first getting the team promoted to the first division and then delivering European football. Although this time around Klopp’s sole focus will be in making sure Dortmund don’t drop any more points.
Mainz, the home team, are just two points away from a EUROPA League qualifying spot and find themselves on a good run having won three out of their last four games. Shinji Okazaki’s form has been a major factor having scored two braces in these games. And the team will be playing with confidence having beaten Werder Bremen 3-2 last weekend.
Dortmund on the other hand, have failed to win any point from their last two league games, losing against Wolfsburg and Bayern. A midweek win over Napoli was certainly a welcome one as it kept their European hopes alive and in their own hands.
However the injuries and the lack of recovery time between games means there certainly will be some rotation of the squad. Manuel Friedrich, who was not available for European competition will certainly be back in the playing XI. This might push Kehl back on the bench, although a nose injury sustained by Bender in the Napoli match might mean that Kehl will play in some capacity.
“The question is not, ‘What is possible?’ but ‘What is reasonable?’ – this statement in the press conference by Klopp means Lukasz Piszczek most certainly won’t start for Dortmund. Christian Wetklo looks set to return to the starting line-up for Mainz lineup following his suspension in place of Loris Karius.
The home – away form guide favours Mainz in this one as they have not lost in any of their last three home games while Dortmund have not travelled well having dropped points in half of their away games this season. But Dortmund will be hoping their recent record against Mainz hold true again as they have been unbeaten in the last six games against Mainz.