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  • Preview: Mainz 05 vs. Bayer Leverkusen - Bundesliga 2024 Match Insights
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  • 20 February 2024

Preview: Mainz 05 vs. Bayer Leverkusen - Bundesliga 2024 Match Insights

The fast-moving Bayer Leverkusen team will be aiming to prolong their winning start to the Bundesliga when they take on the winless Mainz 05 team on Saturday afternoon at Mewa Arena.

Xabi Alonso's team defeated Heidenheim 4-1 in their most recent game to draw even with leaders Bayern Munich on points, while the 05ers lost 2-1 to Augsburg to stay at the bottom of the standings.

Match preview

Given that Mainz has only managed one point from their first five games this season, it would not be inaccurate to state that they have had a dismal start to the Bundesliga campaign. They now sit at the bottom of the league.

Bo Svensson's team held Eintracht Frankfurt to a 1-1 draw in their subsequent match after suffering a 4-1 humiliation at the hands of Union Berlin on the opening weekend. However, they have subsequently lost three straight games against Werder Bremen, Stuttgart, and Augsburg.

The 05ers wasted a great chance to increase their point total last weekend after losing 4-0 to Werder and 3-1 to Stuttgart. They led Augsburg before giving up twice, and they also had to play the latter half of the match with 10 men when Arne Engels was sent off.

Only two teams this season— VfL Bochum and Darmstadt —have let up more goals than Mainz (14) in the Bundesliga, suggesting that Svensson will need to make improvements on both ends of the pitch if he wants to keep his club out of the relegation zone. No team has scored less goals than Mainz's four this season.

On the other hand, unbeaten Bayer Leverkusen, who have taken 13 of a possible 15 points to sit tied atop the table after five games, could not have asked for a better start to the season. They are only one point behind defending champion Bayern Munich.

Die Werkself started their Bundesliga campaign with consecutive victories against RB Leipzig, Borussia Monchengladbach, and Darmstadt, scoring 11 goals in the process. They also set the tone for their season with an 8-0 thumping of lower-league team Teutonia Ottensen in the DFB-Pokal.

Exequiel Palacios's equaliser in the 94th minute helped Leverkusen hold Bayern to a 2-2 draw at the Allianz Arena. Following that, the team defeated Hacken 4-0 to begin their Europa League campaign, and then defeated Heideinheim 4-0 in their most recent match.

Now that Bayer has scored 29 goals in seven games this season in all competitions, Alonso's team averages just over four goals per game in 2023–24. Victor Boniface, the club's newest striker, has already scored eight goals in his first seven games.

Team News

  • Currently out with injuries are many important players for Mainz: Silvan Widmer (ankle), Andreas Hanche-Olsen (ankle), Maxim Leitsch (knee), Nelson Weiper (hip), and Jonathan Burkardt (knee) are all set to miss Saturday's match.
  • This weekend, Svensson is expected to remain with his preferred 3-4-2-1 configuration, which means that Edimilson Fernandes, Stefan Bell, and Dominik Kohr should occupy the backline and Karim Onisiwo and Lee Jae-sung will start behind Ludovic Ajorque in attack.
  • On the other side, Patrik Schick (fitness), Arthur (tendon), and Timothy Fosu-Mensah (knee) will all be out for Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday due to injuries, while 18-year-old defender Noah Mbamba is questionable.
  • Top scorer Boniface will continue to lead the line for the visitors after scoring twice their previous outing. Jonas Hofmann and Florian Wirtz are expected to be used behind the lone striker.
  • Goalie Lukas Hradecky will continue to start in goal at the other end of the pitch, shielding a back three consisting of Edmond Tapsoba, Jonathan Tah, and Odilon Kossounou.
  • Potential starting lineup for Mainz 05 is as follows: Zentner; Bell, Khor, Fernandes; Da Costa, Barreiro, Krauss, Caci; Lee, Onisiwo; Ajorque
  • Possible starting lineup for Bayer Leverkusen is as follows: Hofmann, Wirtz; Boniface; Frimpong, Palacios, Xhaka, Grimaldo; Hradecky; Kossounou, Tah, Tapsoba;

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