Sunday, June 24, 2018

Bundesliga high-flyers Mainz aim to down Bayern

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 25 Sep 2010


High-flying Mainz aim to continue their Bundesliga fairytale on Saturday by adding Bayern Munich to their list of scalps taken on their way to the top of the league.

Minnows Mainz, from south-west Germany, have been the surprise package of the German league this season with five wins from five and are the only side with a 100 percent record as they top the Bundesliga.

Having already beaten Stuttgart, Wolfsburg, Bremen, Kaiserslautern and Cologne, Mainz travel to Munich’s Allianz Arena aiming to spoil the Oktoberfest party in the south German city.

Mainz are meant to provide Bayern with an easy win so their fans can enjoy the world-famous beer festival while the team prepare for next Tuesday’s Champions League trip to Basel.

But Mainz midfielder Lewis Holtby, who scored both goals in the 2-0 win over Cologne on Tuesday, says the game can not come quick enough.

“I am really looking forward to it, especially as it is during Oktoberfest,” said the 20-year-old.

Bayern have struggled to impress so far this season and have lost French winger Franck Ribery for the next four weeks with an ankle injury suffered in the 2-1 win over Hoffenheim on Tuesday.

With flying Dutchman Arjen Robben also injured, Bayern are relying on Germany stars Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Mueller in attack.

Mainz are at full strength and according to coach Thomas Tuchel are playing some of the best football he has seen in only his second season in charge.

“The first half (on Tuesday) was the best I have seen since I started as coach here,” said the 37-year-old.

“With a performance like that we could play in the Premier League.”

Bremen badly need at least a point from their north German derby against Hamburg on Saturday after losing their last two games with Inter Milan their next Champions League opponents in Italy next Tuesday.

After Mainz shocked Werder 2-0 at home last weekend, Bremen were then put to the sword 4-1 at Hanover on Tuesday.

Bremen are hoping to have Germany centre-back Per Mertesacker back after he suffered a fractured eye-socket.

With his side still stuck at the foot of the table, Schalke coach Felix Magath needs another win at home against Moenchengladbach to boost his side’s low confidence.

Schalke beat Freiburg 2-1 on Wednesday to break their four-game losing streak and Dutch striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar will be looking to add to his tally after scoring two goals in two games since joining from AC Milan.

The Royal Blues face Benfica in the Champions League on Wednesday and badly need a win after their opening 1-0 defeat at Lyon.

Ruhr valley rivals Dortmund are basking in the success having gone second in the table with a 5-0 hammering of Kaiserslautern on Wednesday and they face a hard test at battling St Pauli.

The Hamburg-based newcomers beat Moenchengladbach 2-1 on Wednesday and with seven points from five games are starting to show some impressive form from their side of home-grown players.


Bayern Munich v Mainz 05, Schalke 04 v Borussia M’gladbach, VfB Stuttgart v Bayer Leverkusen, Eintracht Frankfurt v Nuremberg, St. Pauli v Borussia Dortmund, Werder Bremen v Hamburg


VfL Wolfsburg v Freiburg, Kaiserslautern v Hanover 96


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