Martin Schmidt’s 1. FSV Mainz 05 welcome TSG 1899 Hoffenheim to the OPEL Arena on Sunday afternoon as both clubs go in search of their first win of the campaign.
1.FSV Mainz 05 will aim to start the season with maximum points and a decent-confident display in front of their home fans, following their opening day defeat to Borussia Dortmund at Signal Iduna Park.
Hoffenheim were held to a 2-2 by a newly promoted side RB Leipzig on the opening matchday. Julian Nagelsmann’s men are looking thirsty to correct their poor away records at the OPEL ARENA, where they have won just once in their previous eight visits.
Amongst their ranks, Mainz have got players with international experience, albeit a number at youth level.
Levin Oztunati played for Germany U21, whilst his teammate Jannik Huth was on the bench. Jean Philippe Gbamin was in action for 90 minutes for France while Fabian Frei watched from the bench as Switzerland defeated Portugal. Yoshi Muto was not left out, as the Japanese international came on in the 82nd minute in their victory over Thailand.
“We want to make sure that we can nullify Hoffenheim’s attacking play at home,” said Mainz sporting director Rouven Schroder.
For Hoffenheim, one or two changes could could be introduced into the side that only managed a 2-2 draw against Leipzig. The Good news for the fans is that the players that went for national duty are back healthy.
Ádám Szalai, Eduardo Vargas and Fabian Schär were on World Cup Qualifier assignment this week, whilst the likes of Nadiem Amiri and Andrej Kramarić played for their respective countries at the mid-week friendlies.
According to Nagelsmann, all of the players are working hard & everyone has the chance to get a spot in the squad for Sunday battle. Though he admitted that Mainz will be a tough opposition, Julian was quick to say his team will give it all.
Possible starting XI’s
1. FSV Mainz 05: GK: Lössl DF: Donati, Bell, Balogun, Brosinski MF: Clemens, Frei, Muto, Gbamin, Onisiwo CF: Malli
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim: GK: Baumann DF: Kaderabek, Schär, Süle, Ochs MF: Rupp, Rudy, Vogt CF: Uth, Wagner, Kramaric
- Mainz’ Jonas Lössl made six saves on his Bundesliga debut against Dortmund.
- Hoffenheim are unbeaten in their last five league games.
- The last time Hoffenheim won at OPEL ARENA was in September 2011 (0-4).