Mainz travel to the Vonovia Ruhrstadion to face Bochum on the opening weekend of the Bundesliga season.
Bochum will be aiming to avoid relegation this term, while Mainz may have their sights set on the European places.
|Bo Svensson.||Photo: GEPA Pictures/David Geieregger|
After winning promotion to the topflight in the 2020-21 campaign, many pundits would have expected Bochum to drop straight back down to the second tier last season.
However, Thomas Reis guided his side to the safety of 13th place, guaranteeing them another Bundesliga season.
Despite finishing nine points clear of the bottom three in their first Bundesliga campaign since the 2009-10 season, Bochum are expected to be involved in a relegation battle this term.
There has been a lot of change at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion ahead of the new campaign. Last season's top scorer Sebastian Polter has joined Schalke, while defenders Armen Bella-Kotchap and Maxim Leitsch have signed for Southampton and Mainz respectively.
Although several players have headed through the exit door this summer, there have also been a number of additions, including Philipp Förster and Kostas Stafylidis.
In fact, Bochum have signed nine new players in the transfer window, and they will be hoping that their new additions can help them avoid relegation this term.
Ahead of the season opener, Bochum will take confidence from the comfortable win they recorded against Regionalliga Nordost side Viktoria Berlin last weekend, with Simon Zoller, Takuma Asano and Philipp Hofmann.
They will now aim to get off to a winning start in league action after failing to win their seven previous opening games in the Bundesliga.
Jannes-Kilian Horn will miss out due to an injury, while a hip problem will also sideline Danilo Soares. Meanwhile, Jacek Goralski is a doubt for Saturday's contest.
Mainz achieved a top half finish last term, ending the 2021-22 season in eighth place.
Despite ending a run of five consecutive bottom half finishes, Bo Svensson would have been disappointed that his side fell short of the European places after remaining in the hunt for a large proportion of the season.
They ended last term with the joint-third best home record in the Bundesliga, but the second worst away record hindered Mainz's attempts to qualify for European competition.
Die Nullfünfer managed to win away last weekend in the first round of the DFB-Pokal. Three summer signings - Dominik Kohr, Delano Burgzorg and Marcus Ingvartsen - found the net in Mainz's 3-0 win over Aue, and they will now try to clinch another away victory on Saturday.
Svensson may have seen Moussa Niakhaté and Jerry St Juste head through the exit door, but as well as signing Kohr, Burgzorg and Ingvartsen, Mainz have also made further additions to their squad. Angelo Fulgini, Aymen Barkok and Danny da Costa have all signed, while Maxim Leitsch has joined from Bochum and the 24-year-old could face his former side on Saturday.
Mainz will hope their new additions can propel them to European qualification this term, which would represent a historic season.
They will be no second debut this weekend for Da Costa, who has returned to the club after spending a season on loan in the 2020-21 campaign, with the defender struggling with an injury. Niklas Tauer will also miss out due to a thigh problem.
|2||C. Gamboa ↪87|
|8||A. Losilla (C)|
|7||K. Stöger ⚽|
|9||S. Zoller ↪76|
|17||G. Holtmann ↪81|
|33||P. Hofmann ↪76|
|35||S. Ganvoula ↩76|
|18||J. Osei-Tutu ↩76|
|23||S. Janko ↩87|
|10||P. Förster ↩81|
|27||R. Zentner (C)|
|20||E. Fernandes ↪90|
|7||L. Jae-Sung ↪62|
|10||A. Fulgini ↪62|
|9||K. Onisiwo ⚽⚽ ↪85|
|36||S. Mustapha ↩85|
|37||D. Burgzorg ↩62|
|19||A. Caci ↩90|
|8||L. Barreiro ↩62|