Germany: Bundesliga
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Mainz 05
A. Witsel (87)
By Ben Sully@SullyBen

Mainz 05 v Borussia Dortmund preview

Ten days later than originally scheduled, Mainz will play host to Borussia Dortmund, as the home side return from a COVID-19 enforced break.

Following their victory against Arminia Bielefeld, Marcos Rose's side could ignite hopes of a serious title charge, as a win on Wednesday would reduce the gap between them and Bayern Munich to just four points.

Mainz 05

Mainz, who sit in tenth place, will finally return to action for the first time since February 26 after games against Dortmund and Augsburg were postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the Mainz camp.

With ten points separating them from sixth position, a seventh-place finish is likely to be Mainz's goal. Die Nullfünfer will be fully aware that depending on the winner of the DFB-Pokal, seventh spot could well become a qualification place for the Europa Conference League, and that possibility will only incentivise Mainz to close the five-point gap to FC Köln.

Die Nullfünfer do have the advantage of possessing two games in hand, but Bo Svensson will be fully aware they face an almighty task to claim a positive result on Wednesday against title-chasing Dortmund.

Although, perhaps it is the visitors who should be fearful as Mainz currently hold the fourth-best home record in the Bundesliga, while they have lost just once at home in the league this season.

A resolute defence has been key in Mainz's home success, with Die Nullfünfer boasting the best defensive home record after conceding just seven league goals at the Mewa Arena.

Impressively, Svensson's side have won their last five Bundesliga home matches by an aggregate 13-2 scoreline.

The Mainz boss will have to do without Alexander Hack and Dominik Kohr, who are both missing through suspension, while injury issues will prevent Finn Dahmen and Jeremiah St. Juste from being involved.

Borussia Dortmund

Dortmund have been given a lifeline in the Bundesliga title race after Bayern Munich dropped four points across their last two league matches.

There is, however, still a seven-point gap that separates Marco Rose's side from the defending champions. Although, a win on Wednesday would turn their title aspirations from a mere dream to a very real possibility.

Wednesday's visitors head to the Mewa Arena in a confident mood after winning three of their last four league games, with Dortmund keeping a clean sheet in each of those victories.

Although, Dortmund's defence does appear to be averse to away trips, which is highlighted by the fact that they have conceded in 11 of their 12 away games.

The strikeforce has also shown signs of homesickness, having scored 40 home league goals this season compared to the 25 they have netted on the road. Ten of those goals, however, have been scored in Dortmund's last four away Bundesliga matches, suggesting they are starting to hit their straps on their travels.

Their away form, in general, has shown signs of improvement, with Dortmund aiming to extend their unbeaten away league run to five matches on Wednesday.

Rose may have to continue with a make-shift defence, with Raphaël Guerreiro, Manuel Akanji, and Dan-Axel Zagadou all expected to miss out. Mats Hummels is set to return to the squad, but he may not be ready for a place in the starting lineup. Both Erling Haaland and Giovanni Reyna returned from injury to feature as second half substitutes against Bielefeld, and the pair could be in line to start Wednesday's encounter.

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