Germany: Bundesliga
FT
1 - 1
(1 - 0)
Mainz 05
RB Leipzig
M. Ingvartsen (45)
C. Nkunku (80)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Svensson declares two defenders fit and expresses optimism ahead of Leipzig

For the fist time in quite a while, FSV Mainz 05 trainer Bo Svensson has had (with the exception of Marlon Mustapha) his full compliment of players on the training pitch this week. 

The Rheinhessen seek to snap a three-game-winless run against a Leipzig side that has won two on the trot.
Good news out of the Pfälzer capital this week saw FSV Mainz 05 trainer Bo Svensson declare that defenders Alexander Hack and Maxim Leitsch would both be available for Saturday afternoon's Bundesliga clash with RB Leipzig. The FSV coach's makeshift back three has suffered its fair share of defensive meltdown's in recent weeks.

More solid defensive options return just in time to face Leipzig's Timo Werner, who absolutely loves to play against Mainz. The German national team striker has scored a whopping 13 goals and registered 8 assists against the club when facing them as both a Stuttgart and Leipzig player.

Svensson himself has a decent head-to-head record against the German Red Bulls. Since being appointed as the FSV trainer during the 2020/21 winter break, the Danish head coach has beaten the favored Saxons in two of three league meetings. Few Bundesliga watchers will forget the manner in which a COVID depleted Mainz shocked Jesse March's Leipzig on opening day of there 2021/22 season.

Given that the encounter was actually the last time Mainz played host to Leipzig at the MEWE Arena, Svensson was asked about the big upset during his Thursday press conference. The 43-year-old reflected upon the "special victory", obviously also emphasizing that it had nothing to do with the encounter at hand.

In addition to declaring Hack and Leitsch fit, Svensson noted that Anton Stach had been playing through some discomfort, but should be okay for the Saturday showdown. Danish striker Marcus Ingvartsen, who resumed partial training this week, in all likelihood will be available off the bench.

Svensson's recently anemic attack constellation might require some re-jiggering after the front-three struggled to come up with ideas even after the return of Jonathan Burkardt. Speaking on this topic, the FSV gaffer priced the progress of Angelo Fulgini and gave the impression that the disciplinary problems with Delano Burgzorg were behind both player and coach.

Mainz's three-match winless run in the league has left their head-coach noticeably disappointed. Although it was only an exhibition, a 2-5 defeat to the Karlsruher SC over the international break is something that Svensson has showed no hesitation in lambasting his team for. All of that notwithstanding, the Dane reported that he felt positive the second-half of last round's match against Freiburg and the training sessions this week.

"There have positive tendencies in mentality and posture," Svensson noted at the presser, "These are the very important components for our performance and, naturally, for getting the points to compete in the Bundesliga."

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