Mainz may have been pretty impressive at their Coface Arena this season, but their good home record will be put to a serious test by Borussia Dortmund. The reigning Bundesliga champions are on a three-match winning run and will fancy their chances of extending their winning run.
Four out of five at home
Led by talented coach Thomas Tuchel, Mainz have been punching above their weight for a while now, and the team have been pretty impressive this season. Despite seeing several important players leave in the summer, while failing to bring proper replacements, die Nullfunfer have done really well to climb to the top half of the standings. Mainz were far from impressive on the travels, bringing 5 points from 7 games on the road, but they won four of five home games to climb to safety. While the team have got to be congratulated for their excellent home run, the reality is all these games were played against bottom table sides, which is one of the reasons why I seriously doubt Thomas Tuchel’s side can stop high-flying Borussia, who happen to be one of the best teams not only in Germany but also in Europe.
Julian Baumgartlinger and Elkin Soto return to the side, but Erick Choupo-Moting, Heinz Muller, Niko Bungert and Chinedu Ede remain sidelined.
Borussia on fire
Borussia Dortmund needed some time to hit the ground running this season, with their key players suffering the ill-effects of the extensive preparations for the Euro 2012. However, just as it was expected, BVB soon returned to the right track, winning four of five games on domestic stage, while thoroughly impressing in their Champions League campaign. Four points won against mighty Real Madrid proved Borussia are becoming a genuine force to be reckoned with in Europe, while 4-1 victory over very good Ajax side saw Jurgen Klopp’s side ensure the first place in the group of death. With the players now full of confidence following some excellent showings and eager to further close the gap behind their title rivals, Borussia can be trusted to see off average Mainz side and record their fourth win on the bounce.
Sven Bender is out with a broken nose, while one or two starters could be rested after the midweek match in Amsterdam.
Mainz have yet to prove they can mix it up with the best sides and the league and their home wins over bottom table sides will not matter much when they take on one of Europe’s top teams. Borussia are clearly on top of their game at the moment and they should have no problems winning this match.
Top pick: Away win 1.67 (2/3) @ Paddy Power
Alternative pick 1: Borussia with -1 handicap 2.75 (7/4) @ Stan James
Alternative pick 2: Both teams to score 1.73 (8/11) @ bet365