Thursday, September 16
Feb 6, 2021 at 2.30pm UK
Mainz 05Mainz 05
Union BerlinUnion Berlin
Niakhate (22' pen.)
Kohr (28'), Barreiro (40')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Schlotterbeck (21'), Teuchert (33'), Knoche (60'), Trimmel (67')
Schlotterbeck (55')

Preview: Mainz 05 vs. Union Berlin - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Mainz 05 vs. Union Berlin - prediction, team news, lineups: ID:433792: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Mainz 05 and Union Berlin, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Mainz 05 welcome Union Berlin to the Opel Arena on Saturday afternoon as the relegation-threatened hosts attempt to secure just their third win of the season.

The visitors, on the other hand, are having a splendid second season in the German Bundesliga and will be hoping to end their recent poor run of form to move back into European qualification contention.

Match preview

Former manager Jan-Moritz Lichte was sacked by the Mainz hierarchy at the end of December after the 41-year-old had attained just six points in the league throughout 2020-21.

That awful run at the start of the current campaign has left the Opel Arena outfit in 17th position, seven points behind Arminia Bielefeld, who occupy the relegation playoff place.

Bo Svensson was the man chosen to replace Lichte, and the former Die Nullfunfer youth team coach has picked up four points in his first five games.

Although the results under their new Danish manager have left some room for improvement, the performances have generally improved. A 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund and a shock 3-2 victory over RB Leipzig have installed renewed hope of an unlikely escape from the drop.

The Mainz faithful will know it will take something special to retain their top-flight status for another season, but three points over the weekend would leave them with a very real chance of doing just that.

Union Berlin have won just one of their last five outings to fall to eighth in the top-flight standings.

Despite their recent struggles, they are only four points behind Eintracht Frankfurt, who are in the final Champions League qualification place, thanks to their terrific start to the season.

Experienced striker Max Kruse has been pivotal for Eiserne in 2020-21. The 32-year-old summer signing has rolled back the years, bagging six goals and providing five assists in just 10 appearances.

However, Kruse tore a muscle back in December, and Union have not had the same attacking impetus without him.

Urs Fischer has done an outstanding job at the Stadion An der Alten Forsterei throughout his time at the club, and another three points over the weekend would maintain their charge towards continental football in the next campaign.

Mainz 05 Bundesliga form: LLDLWL

Union Berlin Bundesliga form: WDWLLDD

Team News

Central-midfielder Pierre Kunde Malong is the only absentee for Mainz, with the 25-year-old unavailable after failing to recover from knee surgery in time for this one.

That means experienced striker Adam Szalai could be brought into the starting lineup for the first time in 2020-21 after Jean-Philippe Mateta was loaned to Crystal Palace in January.

As previously mentioned, Kruse continues to suffer from a torn muscle and is ruled out of this weekend's clash.

He is joined in the treatment room by Anthony Ujah, Christopher Lenz, Grischa Promel and Sheraldo Becker as Union attempt to manage a mini-injury crisis.

Mainz 05 possible starting lineup:
Zentner; Niakhate, Bell, St. Juste; Mwene, Fernandes, Kohr, Da Costa; Onisiwo, Szalai, Quaison

Union Berlin possible starting lineup:
Luthe; Friedrich, Knoche, Schlotterbeck; Ryerson, Gentner, Andrich, Ingvartsen, Giesselmann; Awoniyi, Teuchert

We say: Mainz 05 1-2 Union Berlin

Both sides will fancy their chances coming into this one, but we think the visitors should have too much quality for their struggling hosts. Union Berlin are chancing European qualification this season and should continue their charge with another three points on Saturday.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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