Mainz 05 vs. Bochum preview:
Die Nullfünfer aiming to end winless run
By Ben Sully @SullyBen
After failing to record a victory in their last five Bundesliga matches, Mainz will attempt to return to winning ways against Bochum.
|Bo Svensson.||Photo: GEPA Pictures/Wolfgang Jannach|
Mainz are winless in six league games after they were beaten 2-1 by Borussia Dortmund in midweek. Lee Jae-Sung gave his side the lead in the second minute, but within two minutes Dortmund were level following Julian Ryerson's first goal for the club. Mainz looked set to hold their opponents to a draw until Giovanni Reyna scored a 93rd-minute winner to condemn Bo Svensson's side to a narrow 2-1 defeat.
With four points separating them from Bochum in the relegation playoff place, Mainz are at risk of being dragged into a relegation battle. If they are to move up the Bundesliga table then they need to improve their home form.
No side in the topflight has picked up fewer home wins than Mainz, who have won only one of their eight league games at home this season. Having drawn half of those eight matches, a failure to convert draws into victories is seemingly harming their progress.
They can take inspiration from the fact that they have never lost a Bundesliga home against Bochum, winning three and drawing one of their previous four home meetings with Saturday's opponents.
Delano Burgzorg, Jonathan Burkardt and Marlon Mustapha are sidelined with injuries, while Robin Zentner is a doubt due to a back problem.
After enjoying a run of three consecutive league victories, Bochum's winning run was brought to an end by Bayer Leverkusen in midweek. An Edmond Tapsoba penalty and an Adam Hložek strike guided Leverkusen to a 2-0 victory, which leaves Bochum in the relegation playoff spot on goal difference.
As a result of the midweek defeat, Bochum have now lost eight of their nine away matches in the Bundesliga this season. Having shipped 24 goals on their travels this season, Die Unabsteigbaren have the worst defensive away record in the topflight. There is also room for improvement in the final third after scoring only three goals across their last seven away league games.
Scoring the first goal will be crucial to Bochum, who have lost all 10 Bundesliga games this season, where they have conceded the opener.
The visitors are without the services of Michael Esser, Cristian Gamboa and Paul Grave due to injury issues.