19:30 BST, Friday 27th October, Opel Arena (Mainz, Germany), BT Sport 3
Mainz have been a strong force at home and they will need to be at their best when they host Eintracht Frankfurt on Friday night. Mainz lost their previous clash in the Bundesliga against Schalke last Friday.
Frankfurt come into this clash on a three-game unbeaten run which has included a draw with league leaders Borussia Dortmund in which they went behind before drawing level. A win for Eintracht would see them inside the top six whilst Mainz could move up to 9th if other results go their way.
Last Time Out
Mainz 3-2 Holstein Kiel (DFB Pokal)
Mainz looked to book their place into the Round of 16 when they hosted Holstein Kiel on Tuesday night. Mainz started well with Viktor Fischer opening his account for the club on 22 minutes. Kiel, who sit second in Bundesliga 2, would go level minutes later: Kingsley Schindler converting from the spot.
Mainz retook the lead on 68 minutes as Viktor Fischer got his second of the game. But Kiel kept pushing and once again they managed to win a penalty. With Dominick Drexler stepping up and converting from the spot, the game entered extra time. Unfortunately for Kiel, though, it was Mainz who secure their place into the next round: Daniel Brosinski’s excellent free-kick beating Kenneth Kronholm.
1. FC Schweinfurt 0-4 Eintracht Frankfurt (DFB Pokal)
Eintracht Frankfurt made the journey to Schweinfurt as they looked to progress to the round of 16 against Regionalliga Bayern side 1. FC Schweinfurt. Niko Kovač’s side was in complete control from the outset and they would take the lead on 14 minutes through Sebastien Haller.
Frankfurt had to wait till the second half to double their advantage, though, and once again it was Haller getting his name on the scoresheet. Marius Wolf made it three for Frankfurt on 63 minutes before Danny Blum ending the scoring just four minutes from time.
After a gruelling 120 minutes in the DFB Pokal, Mainz will want to rotate their squad as best as they can. With Rene Adler picking up a right thigh injury in the midweek game, he is unlikely to play with Robin Zentner set to make his Bundesliga debut.
Viktor Fischer impressed in the win against Holstein Keil and will start on the left. Mainz are depleted at the back with injuries to Leon Balogun and Abdou Diallo, meaning Stefan Bell will partner Jean-Philippe Gbamin.
Eintracht Frankfurt Lineup
Niko Kovač has a lean squad to choose from as his side prepares to take on Friday night. Timothy Chandler tore his meniscus in the 2-2 draw with Borussia Dortmund and, with Danny da Costa also out with injury, expect to see Carlos Salcedo playing wing back. Makoto Hasebe, Ante Rebić, Taleb Tawatha and Mijat Gacinovic didn’t play for Frankfurt in the cup game with Schweinfurt but all will return.
Key Battle: Yoshinori Muto vs Sebastien Haller
Yoshinori Muto has battled form and injury since joining the club but, with the Japanese international in the lineup, Mainz have a better chance of finding the net. This season, he has made 10 appearances in all competitions with five goals and two assists. However, his last goal came on Matchday 7 against Wolfsburg. Mainz they will need more from Muto if they are to kick on this season.
After a slow start to life with Eintracht Frankfurt, Sebastien Haller is slowly hitting his stride. In the Bundesliga, Haller has 4 goals and 2 assists whilst a brace in the cup win over Schweinfurt gives the Frenchman 3 goals and 2 assists overall in the DFB Pokal. Haller, then, is well on his way to paying back the €7 million fee Frankfurt shelled out for him.
Mainz battled hard to secure a Round of 16 appearance in the DFB Pokal, needing extra time to defeat Holstein Kiel. But for a club that doesn’t have great depth, Mainz will be stretched in the league this week especially at the defensive end. Can Sandro Schwarz get the best out of his side? Or will Mainz run out of gas towards the end of the match?
Eintracht Frankfurt have produced the building blocks for a solid Bundesliga campaign as they enter the clash with Mainz on a three game unbeaten run. In Niko Kovač’s second full season in charge of Die Adler, Frankfurt find themselves sitting comfortably in 7th place in the standings. This is largely due to their outstanding away record during which they have secured 10 points from a possible 15. The signs are there that Frankfurt are on the rise this season.
Prediction: Mainz 2-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
This will be an interesting encounter to open the 10th matchday of the Bundesliga season. When the sides last met, it resulted in a six-goal thriller which saw Mainz come from behind to secure a pivotal three points to guarantee their place in the Bundesliga. Expect to see goals but not a winner as both sides share the points in an entertaining draw.
Can Mainz return to winning ways or will Eintracht Frankfurt continue their unbeaten run to four? Let us know in the comments section below
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