Mainz face the unenviable task of trying to prevent Bayern Munich from securing their best start to a league season when they welcome the Bundesliga champions to the Coface Arena on Saturday.
Bayern have won eight on the spin in all competitions since being beaten in the German Super Cup by Wolfsburg, a defeat they avenged in some style in midweek with a 5-1 trouncing at the Allianz Arena.
Robert Lewandowski stole the headlines on the night by bagging all five goals in the space of just nine minutes and there appears to be yet more good news on the horizon for Bayern fans, with Pep Guardiola reportedly poised to sign a contract extension with the Bavarian giants in the very near future.
Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is confident that the in-demand Spaniard will opt to pledge his future to the club.
“One thing is clear, we have a good team and a good team needs a good coach,” he said.
“We had one in Jupp Heynckes and we have one now in Pep Guardiola. I am definitely optimistic that Pep will stay beyond June 30, 2016.
“The coach feels good. He has a good team.
“It helps to have Munich as a city. There’s a lot going for Pep Guardiola deciding for Bayern Munich.”
Guardiola’s men will be installed as red-hot favourites to down Mainz despite the fact that the hosts had enjoyed their own best start to a Bundesliga campaign since 2010/11 prior to their 1-0 midweek defeat at the hands of Bayer Leverkusen.
Martin Schmidt’s side have won two of their three home games thus far this term, against Hoffenheim and Hannover respectively, and boast one of the league’s most in-form midfielders in Yunus Malli.
The 23-year-old former Monchengladbach man has scored five goals in the last four games, including a hat-trick against Hoffenheim.
In terms of injuries for the hosts, Swiss international midfielder Fabian Frei is struggling to overcome a hamstring problem in time to feature and long-term absentee Elkin Soto remains sidelined.
As for Bayern, they are still without wing twins Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, along with defensive trio Jan Kirchhoff, Holger Badstuber and Mehdi Benatia.
The visitors were forced to work hard to win the corresponding fixture 2-1 last season, but have only lost one of their last nine visits to the Rhineland club.
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