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  • Preview: Mainz 05 vs. Union Berlin | Clash of Bundesliga Titans
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  • 06 February 2024

Preview: Mainz 05 vs. Union Berlin | Clash of Bundesliga Titans

Union Berlin and Mainz 05, two struggling teams in the Bundesliga, square off on Wednesday night at MEWA Arena in an attempt to secure three points that will help them to survive.

Following their respective losses the previous weekend, Mainz now leads Darmstadt in the bottom spot solely on goal differential, with Union trailing them by just six points.

Match preview

When Jan Siewert managed his first game as Die Nullfunfer's head coach in November, Mainz had its first victory in nine games against RB Leipzig.

The club's 15-year tenure in Germany's top division is seriously in risk after back-to-back 1-0 losses, first at home to Werder Bremen and then at Eintracht Frankfurt. They are presently in 17th place in the Bundesliga rankings.

Mainz supporters, who have frequently seen their club's inadequacies up close, may be fearing the worst as their side is currently six points out of safety and four points out of a playoff spot.

FSV is the team with the fewest goals scored at home (six), and they have only collected five points at home all season. They will be eager to change that terrible record against many teams that are above them on Wednesday.

Playing a match that was originally postponed because of the ice conditions at MEWA Arena last month, Siewert's team will also be out for retribution for losing the reverse game in August 4-1, which set the tone for a challenging season.

Union Berlin has not only won four of the past five league encounters between the two teams, but they have also only lost one of their previous ten competitive games against Mainz.

Die Eisernen may fancy defeating their hosts this season given their current problems, especially as new coach Nenad Bjelica appears to have stabilised the ship since taking over in late November.

Union has only lost two Bundesliga games since the retirement of beloved manager Urs Fischer, who guided the side into the Champions League before ultimately running out of steam. Prior to that, Union had failed to earn a single point from the previous nine games.

After defeating Darmstadt in a pivotal six-point match at the end of January, Bjelica's team lost to Leipzig in their opening game of February and are still in danger as they are only one position above Koln's relegation playoff berth.

Union has never finished the season with fewer than 20 points since joining the Bundesliga for the first time in 2019. However, considering they have only managed a league-low four points gained away from home, that may not be surprising.

Team News

Lee Jae-sung is now travelling with South Korea for the Asian Cup, so Jan Siewert will be without him again in the middle of the week. Additionally, Brajan Gruda and Germany Under-21 forward Nelson Weiper are expected to be absent with injuries.

Due to a nasty bacterial illness, Stefan Bell, the central defender, will be out for several weeks.

Nadiem Amiri, who arrived from league leaders Bayer Leverkusen for an unknown amount, recently bolstered Mainz's roster. He made his debut over the weekend and is expected to start again on Wednesday.

Josip Juranovic is unable to Union at this time, however Diogo Leite, Alex Kral, and Frederik Ronnow might return to the visiting team due to sickness.

USA winger Brenden Aaronson should step in on the right flank after captain Christopher Trimmel was sent off the previous game and will serve a suspension.

Yorbe Vertessen and Benedict Hollerbach started up front against Leipzig after Vertessen moved from PSV during the winter transfer window, but Kevin Volland may now return to the starting lineup.

Sentner, Widmer, Van den Berg, Caci, Mwene; Krauss, Barreiro; Burkardt, Amiri, Onisiwo; Ajorque might be Mainz 05's starting lineup.

Potential starting lineup for Union Berlin: Aaronson, Schafer, Tousart, Gosens; Volland, Hollerbach; Khedira; Knoche, Vogt, Doekhi; Schwalow


 

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