Germany: Bundesliga
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Mainz 05
FC Bayern
L. Ajorque (65), L. Barreiro (73), A. Martín (79)
S. Mané (29)
By Ben Sully@SullyBen

Mainz 05 vs. Bayern Munich preview: Can the Bavarians bounce back?

After being knocked out of the Champions League by Manchester City, Bayern Munich will be looking for a positive response when they face Mainz 05 on Saturday.

Mainz 05

Since losing 2-1 to Union Berlin on February 2, Mainz have embarked on a nine-game unbeaten run, which has put them firmly in the hunt for European qualification.

Mainz are currently sitting in eighth place with two points separating them from the top six. However, their position could have been even better if they had converted some of their recent draws into victories, including last Saturday’s away meeting with Köln.

Mainz took the lead through Ludovic Ajorque, but Dejan Ljubičić’s second-half equaliser ensured Die Nullfünfer had to settle for a fourth draw in five games.

A point from Saturday’s meeting with Bayern will be viewed as a success, however, Svensson may have higher aspirations. Impressively, the Mainz boss has won both of his home Bundesliga games against Bayern.

Having failed to score in just one of their last 12 home league games, the hosts will be confident that they have the quality to test the Bayern defence on Saturday.
Team News

The hosts are still without Jonathan Burkardt, who has been sidelined since November.

Bayern Munich

Bayern head into Saturday’s encounter without a win in three competitive games. After losing 3-0 to Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie, the Bavarians were held to a 1-1 draw by Hoffenheim last weekend.

Another 1-1 scoreline followed in midweek when the reigning Premier League champions visited the Allianz Arena. Joshua Kimmich scored a late spot-kick to cancel out Erling Haaland’s opener, but the 4-1 aggregate defeat ensured Bayern’s European campaign was brought to an end.

Having been knocked out of the DFB-Pokal and Champions League, Bayern will turn their attention to the title race, as they look to win the Bundesliga for an 11th consecutive season.

Despite dropping points last Saturday, league leaders Bayern still maintained the two-point gap to Borussia Dortmund, who fluffed their lines to draw 3-3 against 10-man Stuttgart.

Although Bayern have lost their last two away league meetings with Mainz, they managed to claim a comfortable victory at the MEWA Arena when the two sides met in the DFB-Pokal in February. The Bavarians cruised to a 4-0 victory on the occasion, following the 6-2 win they recorded when they faced Mainz at the Allianz Arena in October.
Team News

Benjamin Pavard will serve a one-match suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards, while long-term absentees Manuel Neuer and Lucas Hernandez remain sidelined.

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