Thursday, January 28, 2021

Prediction: Bayern Munich vs Mainz 05

Verdict: Robert Lewandowski to score two or more goals

Best odds: 10/11

Bookmaker: Betfair

The year 2020 has come to a close, with 13 rounds in the Bundesliga gone. The clubs will have no time to relax, though, as round 14 this weekend means business resumes as usual for them. On Sunday afternoon, Bayern Munich will be welcoming Mainz 05 to the Allianz Arena.

Bayern Munich

The year that’s just ended may have been a disastrous one for many around the planet and not too good for the football world either, but Bayern certainly got as much as possible from it. They won the Bundesliga – DFB-Pokal – Champions League treble, repeating the feat of 2013, with striker Robert Lewandowski being crowned FIFA’s Men’s Best Player of the Year.

To top it all off, the Bavarians are back at the top of the table in the German top flight. Following a narrow win at the BayArena on December 19th, they sit above Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig with a two-point advantage and a total of 30 so far, even though things didn’t get off to a good start in that match.

Patrick Schick opened the scoring for the hosts in the 14th minute, but Lewandowski stepped up with a double to ensure victory for the defending champions.

In the Champions League, Bayern won Group A, finishing well ahead of Atletico Madrid, RB Salzburg and Lokomotiv Moscow. They will now face Serie A side Lazio in the round of 16, with the first leg scheduled for February 23rd in Rome.

In all competitions, Hans-Dieter Flick’s team won three of their last six outings, drawing the other three.

Team News

Flick will be pleased about having fullbacks Alphonso Davies and Joshua Kimmich back in the fold – both of them came back just before the two-week break which is about to end. Midfielder Leon Goretzka was also out for a few games with a muscle issue, but he should be ready to play on Sunday as well.

Meanwhile, the coach won’t be able to call upon midfielder/defender Javi Martinez, forward Joshua Zirkzee and young defender Tanguy Nianzou, due to different injury issues.

Mainz 05

Mainz survived last season with relative comfort, finishing in 13th place with a six-point cushion between them and the relegation zone. But if they had been hoping to build on that result and do even better in 2020-21, those hopes are probably over.

Mainz are now stuck inside the danger zone. They are in 17th place with only one win and a total of 10 points; only Schalke 04, who haven’t won a league game for almost a year now, are doing worse. Because of it, Mainz have already sacked two head coaches –  Achim Beierlorzer earlier in the season and  Jan-Moritz Lichte, who had replaced him. They are now being led by Jan Siewert on a temporary basis.

Ahead of the break, Mainz faced Werder Bremen at home and lost, courtesy of a single strike by Eren Dinkci in the final minute of the 90. Their last-six record reads two draws and four defeats – a grim read indeed.

Team News

Probably the only piece of good news for the visitors is that Siewert has the full squad to choose from for the Munich trip. With midfielder Levin Oztunali now back in full training, nobody is injured.

Conclusion

This game is one of those easiest to call on paper – Mainz have very little chance of leaving the Allianz Arena with anything to show for their effort. Bayern are serial winners, and it’s an important point in the season for them, a chance to pull away at the top with Leverkusen traveling to Frankfurt and Leipzig going to Stuttgart on Saturday.

Given the form Lewandowski is on right now, we could be looking at another brace from the Polish star.

Verdict: Robert Lewandowski to score two or more goals

Best odds: 10/11

Bookmaker: Betfair

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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