Darmstadt and Mainz will both have temporary trainers roaming the touchline in a bottom of the table battle on Matchday 11.
The big news this week for the Lilies is that Torsten Lieberknecht isn’t currently with the team. His wife, who’s now on the road to recovery, suffered a stroke and he’s currently taking a step away from football with his family.
Darmstadt have lost their last three games and are on a bad streak of red cards, having lost three players to suspension in their last two contests. They have the worst defense and goal-difference record in the league, but a matchup against lowly Mainz could be exactly what's needed to get back on track.
Temporary trainer Ovid Hajou said, "It's not about Jan Siewert or my humble self on Saturday. It's about Darmstadt and Mainz. We worked through the Bochum game and finally shook it off. Now we're concentrating on what's to come."
Klaus Gjasula, Matej Maglica, and Fabian Holland are serving red-card suspensions, while Bradyon Manu has an ankle issue. Fabio Torsiello returned to training this week, but won’t be ready for game action this weekend.
In his first match in charge, Jan Siewert surprisingly got the result Mainz were so desperately craving in a 2-0 win over Leipzig last weekend. But, the escape from a looming relegation battle is far from over, as that was just the first win of the campaign for the 17th-place side.
On Saturday, Ludovic Ajorque is expected to continue on the bench in the new trainer’s 4-3-2-1 formation. Spirits were high in the Mainz camp this week as talented winger Jonathan Burkhardt returned, but it’s unclear if he’ll be immediately ready having last played a match in November of 2022.
Siewert commented, "I have had lots of one-on-one conversations this week. This has helped me to get a sense of the mood among the team. - We have had a good week of training. The highlight was definitely seeing Jonny (Burkhardt) back on the pitch."
Joshua Guilavogui, Nelson Weiper, and Andreas Hanche-Olson are out. Burkhardt, Brajan Gruda, and Stefan Bell are questionable, while it’s unlikely that Anthony Caci will be in the squad.