Mainz 05 vs. Union Berlin preview:
Can either side begin with back-to-back league victories?
By Ben Sully @SullyBen
Both Mainz 05 and Union Berlin enjoyed opening day wins to begin the 2022-23 Bundesliga season on a positive note, and the two clubs will be desperate to add three more points to their respective tallies on Sunday.
|Urs Fischer.||Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0|
Mainz enter Sunday's contest in a confident mood after beginning the 2022-23 season with consecutive victories.
Goals from Dominik Kohr, Delano Burgzorg, and Marcus Ingvarstsen helped Mainz sweep aside Erzgebirge Aue with a comfortable 3-0 victory in the first round of the DFB-Pokal.
Bo Svensson's side opened their Bundesliga campaign with an away fixture against Bochum. Karim Onisiwo opened the scoring in the 26th minute, but the visitors were pegged back by a Kevin Stöger strike 13 minutes later.
With the contest heading towards a draw, Onisiwo found the net once again, with his 77th-minute effort proving enough to help Mainz open the new Bundesliga season with a victory.
After an away victory list time out, Mainz will return to home surroundings on Sunday, and given their recent record at the MEWA Arena, they will be confident that they can record a positive result. They ended last season unbeaten in their final four home league games, while they have only lost two Bundesliga matches at home in the entirety of the 2021-22 campaign.
Danny da Costa and Niklas Tauer are set to miss out for the hosts through injury, while a hamstring problem is expected to prevent Jonathan Burkardt from featuring.
Like their opponents, Union also began their Bundesliga campaign with a victory and it was an all-important one against their local rivals Hertha Berlin.
Jordan Siebatcheu gave Die Eisernen a half time lead before Sheraldo Becker and Robin Knoche grabbed a goal apiece in the opening nine minutes of the second half to effectively wrap up all three points. Although Dodi Lukebakio netted a consolation goal late on, Union claimed the bragging rights in the German capital.
The derby day win as well as an extra time victory over Chemnitzer in the first-round of the DFB-Pokal has ensured that Union are unbeaten in their opening two matches of the 2022-23 season.
Although they face a tough away trip, Union will be hoping that they can at the very least clinch a point against Mainz. Urs Fischer's side are currently unbeaten in their last eight league games, while they also have the chance to win a fourth consecutive Bundesliga game on Sunday.
However, they may have their work cut out to take home three points, with all three of their previous opening away games to a Bundesliga season ending all square.
Union are expected to be without the services of Fabio Schneider, who is currently sidelined with a knee injury.