Bo Svensson and FSV Mainz 05 get another chance to play underneath the nighttime floodlights in front of their hometown fans.
After a round nine dismantling of Augsburg and a sensational comeback victory over Arminia Bielefeld in the country's domestic cup, Adi Hütter's Borussia Mönchengladbach comes to down for a much more difficult match.
Despite what the current standings might convey on the matter, Svensson made clear that he considered his team the underdog.
|Bo Svensson.||Photo: GEPA Pictures/Wolfgang Jannach|
Three consecutive wins on the bounce have the Rheinhessen of FSV Mainz 05 feeling confident ahead of a Friday night showdown with the foals of Borussia Mönchengladbach. Mainz's two consecutive league wins have pulled the club up to fifth place in the table. Gladbach may have knocked off the mighty Bayern München 5-0 in the country's domestic cup, but inconsistent league form leaves them in 10th place.
"The table is not especially relevant in this case," Mainz head-coach Bo Svensson emphasized at his Thursday presser, "I focus on the content of the match."
There was plenty of good news for Svensson to comment on. Captain Moussa Niakhaté should be fit enough to start and once again anchor Svensson's air-tight back-three. Additionally, German striker Jonathan Burkardt enters the match in red-hot form.
With both Antonio di Salvo's Germany U21 squad and Hansi Flick's latest Nationalmannschaft roster due tomorrow, there should be question the 21-year-old will be called up to one or the other.
"With Johnny it was always clear," Svensson said with a smile, "It's not a question of 'if', but 'when'? Even when he wasn't scoring, there were already a lot of things going right with his game. He's taken big steps."
Svensson downplayed the possibility of a fourth straight win against Gladbach. He also insisted that the fixture didn't count as a "must-win".
"We face a top-class opponent. A lot of things have to go right for us to win," the trainer said, "You have to play quick, find the right solutions, and press well. Of course, it's a task we're looking forward to."
|19||M. Niakhate (C)|
|30||S. Widmer ⚽|
|7||L. Jae-Sung ↪70|
|31||D. Kohr ↪89|
|9||K. Onisiwo ↪88|
|29||J. Burkardt ↪81|
|11||M. Ingvartsen ↩88|
|28||Á. Szalai ↩81|
|6||A. Stach ↩70|
|8||L. Barreiro ↩89|
|1||Y. Sommer (C)|
|30||N. Elvedi ↪28|
|20||L. Netz ↪79|
|14||A. Pléa ↪79|
|36||B. Embolo ↪30|
|7||P. Herrmann ↩79|
|10||M. Thuram ↩30|
|13||L. Stindl ↩79|
|32||F. Neuhaus ↩28 ⚽|