Germany: Bundesliga
4 - 0
(1 - 0)
Mainz 05
A. Hanche-Olsen (32), B. Gruda (60), L. Jae-Sung (80), L. Jae-Sung (84)
By Ben Sully@SullyBen

Mainz 05 vs. Darmstadt preview: Two teams battling for survival

Two teams sitting in the bottom three will face off when Mainz 05 plays host to Darmstadt on Saturday.

Mainz 05

After suffering a demoralising 8-1 defeat to Bayern Munich, Mainz have bounced back to take four points from their last two matches. Die Nullfünfer recorded a 2-0 home win over Bochum, before they held RB Leipzig to a goalless draw at the Red Bull Arena last weekend.

Although they have gone two games without defeat, Mainz still have significant work to do if they are to prolong their 15-year stay in the top flight. With seven matches left to play, Mainz are currently sitting in the relegation playoff spot and six points adrift from safety. They will also be wary of Köln, who are sitting just one point behind in the automatic relegation places.

Bo Henriksen's side do at least have a six-point gap to basement side Darmstadt ahead of Saturday’s meeting between the two sides. The hosts have proven to be a tough team to beat in recent outings at the MEWA Arena, having avoided defeat in each of their last five home games.
Team News

Maxim Leitsch and Stefan Bell are both unavailable, while Nelson Weiper is unlikely to be ready for Saturday’s contest.


Darmstadt will have to put together an impressive run of results if they are to avoid an immediate return to the fourth tier. Torsten Lieberknecht’s charges currently sit bottom of the table with just 14 points to their name.

However, they at least managed to show great character to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat in last Sunday’s away meeting with Bochum. Tim Skarke and Oscar Vilhelmsson both found the net to help their side fight from two goals and take a point off Bochum.

Unfortunately for Darmstadt, the 2-2 draw extended their winless run to 20 league matches, with their most recent top-flight victory taking place against Augsburg in October. They will be desperate to end that run this weekend as they look to close the gap to Mainz to three points. Having failed to beat Mainz in their last two away meetings, Darmstadt are hoping to claim their first head-to-head away win since recording a 1-0 victory in a 2.Bundesliga clash in November 1992.
Team News

Darmstadt are unable to call upon Fabio Torsiello, Fabian Nürnberger, Marvin Mehlem, Fraser Hornby and Skarke. Mathias Honsak is a doubt due to illness, while Klaus Gjasula will serve a one-match suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards.

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