Bayern Munich have begun to find the consistency and form that they blew teams away with at the beginning of the season and against Mainz on Saturday they will look to put early pressure on Bundesliga leaders Union Berlin, who play on Sunday, with Julian Nagelsmann’s side one point behind.
The Rekordmeister are coming off of a comfortable 3-0 win against Barcelona at the Camp Nou in midweek which solidified top spot in their group. Goals from Sadio Mané, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Benjamin Pavard allowed the Bavarians to comfortably beat Blaugrana. Last weekend they also beat Hoffenheim 2-0 with goals from Choupo-Moting, again, as well as Jamal Musiala to take them within one point of Union.
Mainz find themselves sixth and have been quietly having a very strong season. Last weekend they beat 1. FC Köln 5-0. Marcus Ingvartsen opened the scoring before a red card for Luca Kilian allowed Mainz to run riot. Dominik Kohr, Anton Stach, Aarón Martín and Karim Onisiwo all scored while Mainz also had two goals ruled out by VAR.
Bayern will go into this game without Thomas Müller and Manuel Neuer, Julian Nagelsmann confirmed to media on Friday. Neuer remains sidelined with shoulder injury and Müller is having a slight injury in his hip which is keeping him out for the Mainz game as he looks to rest.
One of the players to watch is Choupo-Moting, who has surprisingly been a key player for Bayern of late. The Cameroon international had not started a game this season for Bayern until their 5-0 win against Freiburg and since then he has scored in each game and has seemingly refreshed the Bayern attack who had been struggling in front of goal.
For Mainz this will be a big test for them. They are currently on a three match unbeaten run in the league and have been able to take points off Union Berlin, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Werder Bremen this season. With Bo Svensson having gained interest from foreign clubs this season the attention on him will continue to rise.
Last season Mainz were able to beat Bayern, winning 3-1 at the MEWA Arena with Jonathan Burkardt, Moussa Niakhaté and Leandro Barreiro all scoring as Bayern showed their incontinency in front of goal. The first meeting between the two last season saw Bayern win 2-1 after Mainz had taken an initial lead.
Ulreich – Pavard, Upamecano, de Ligt, Davies – Kimmich, Goretzka – Gnabry, Musiala, Mané – Choupo Moting
Zentner – Fernandes, Hack, Caci – Widmer, Kohr, Aaron – Stach, Lee, Onisiwo, Ingvartsen
GGFN | Jack Meenan