Mainz will be aiming to reignite their push for European qualification when they welcome an Arminia Bielefeld side that are battling to remain in the top flight.
|Bo Svensson.||Photo: GEPA Pictures/David Geieregger|
Following a COVID-19 enforced break, Mainz returned to action in midweek against Borussia Dortmund. Die Nullfünfer looked set to claim a point against the title-chasers, but the 87th-minute winner from Axel Witsel ultimately condemned Mainz to consecutive defeats.
Despite losing against Dortmund, Mainz sit in 10th place and they will be eyeing a seventh-place finish, with FC Köln five points in front. Die Nullfünfer also hold the advantage of having played a game fewer, but they will need to return to winning ways if they are to move up the table.
Wednesday's defeat represented just the second loss Bo Svensson's side have suffered at home in the Bundesliga this season. Die Nullfünfer still hold the fourth-best home record in the top-flight, while they also boast the best defensive record on home turf after conceding eight league goals at the Mewa Arena this term.
Anton Stach is suspended for the hosts due to an accumulation of yellow cards, although they do welcome back Dominik Kohr who served a one-match suspension in midweek. Meanwhile, injury issues will prevent Niklas Tauer, Finn Dahmen and Jerry St. Juste from featuring on Saturday.
Although Bielefeld put in a valiant effort against Dortmund last weekend, it was all in vain as Die Arminen fell to consecutive 1-0 defeats.
With Bielefeld sitting just two points clear of the relegation playoff place, they are in desperate need of points rather than performances.
Frank Krammer's side enter Saturday's contest off the back of three consecutive defeats, with Die Arminen failing to score in each of those fixtures. The Bielefeld boss will also be concerned that his team have failed to score in six of their 13 Bundesliga away matches this term.
Although they may be struggling in the final third, Bielefeld have been strong defensively, with Saturday's visitors holding the fourth-best defensive away record in the Bundesliga. However, Kramer will be fully aware that their defence will be tested on Saturday against a Mainz side that have scored in 11 of their 13 home league matches.
Arminia Bielefeld's long list of absentees includes Guilherme Ramos, Joakim Nilsson, Nathan de Medina, Gonzalo Castro and Janni Serra. The visitors are also without the services of Cedric Brunner, who is suspended for Saturday's encounter.