Verdict: Under 2.5 goals
Best Odds: 1/1
In a real battle between two sides looking over their shoulder at the drop zone, Mainz will welcome Augsburg to an empty Opel Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Starting with the hosts, putting in what was a shock performance last weekend and grabbing a 2-0 win away at Eintracht Frankfurt, Mainz are a side simply desperate to build off of that result. Opening the weekend sat just three points clear of the relegation play-off spot after picking up their first win since returning from the break, Head Coach Achim Beierlorzer will now be calling on his side to make some much-needed alterations on home soil. Including being blown away by Champions League outfit RB Leipzig in what was a 5-0 drumming last month, Die Nullfünfer have been hit with back-to-back defeats at the Opel Arena since returning to action. Also drawing a blank in both of those home losses, the Reds have managed to land just a sole Bundesliga victory in Rhineland-Palatinate in their last nine attempts, a run that stems back to December 2nd. Even more worrying for Sunday’s hosts, they also hold a worrying record against Augsburg. Including a 2-1 defeat earlier in the season, Mainz have lost four of their last six matchups against the guests, recording just a single victory.
Aside from 22-year-old Ridle Baku who makes a return from suspension this weekend, Mainz boss Achim Beierlorzer has a full squad to choose from on Sunday afternoon.
As for the visitors, while Augsburg may have managed to salvage a dramatic late point against another struggler in Koln last weekend, the Whites have continued to show a string of inconsistencies since returning to action. With it appearing that their 3-0 win away at Schalke might have been just a minor bounce for Heiko Herrlich’s men, they have won just one of their previous nine Bundesliga appearances, a run that stems back to February 1st. Openinig Sunday’s contest sat just a single point ahead of their hosts and also still looking over their shoulder at the bottom-three, Augsburg’s issues on the road will undoubtedly be giving Herrlich the biggest headache. Including a routine 2-0 defeat at Hertha Berlin in their last matchup away from the WWK Arena, the Whites have lost six of their last seven top-flight appearances on their travels. Drastically falling from the standard they set at the back end of 2019, it should also be noted that Sunday’s guests have remarkably drawn a blank in five of their previous six Bundesliga matches on the road.
After missing last week’s 1-1 draw against Koln, Augsburg will be able to call upon Jeffrey Gouweleeuw who is available following serving a suspension.
Elsewhere, returning to training after dealing with a knee injury, Iceland international Alfred Finnbogason could be set to play some part on Sunday.
Key Factors to Consider
- Including a 2-1 win when the two sides faced off earlier in the season, Augsburg have picked up the victory in four of their last six meetings against Mainz.
- Sunday’s hosts have won just one of their last nine Bundesliga matchups on home soil.
- Four of Mainz’s last five Bundesliga matches at the WWK Arena have seen under 2.5 goals at full-time.
- Augsburg have scored just a single goal in their last three matches on the bounce.
- The Whites have also drawn a blank in five of their previous six Bundesliga matches on the road.
On paper, Sunday’s meeting at the WWK Arena should be a contest that sees chances come at a real premium. In a battle between two sides continuing to show glaring issues since returning from the break and still looking over their shoulder at the drop zone, we’re expecting a cagey encounter this weekend. With Mainz gaining a worrying reputation for their issues on home soil, coupled with Augsburg’s dreadful record on the road, particularly in the final third, we’re backing under 2.5 goals on Sunday afternoon.
Verdict: Under 2.5 goals
Best Odds: 1/1
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