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Dec 4, 2021 at 2.30pm UK
Mainz 05Mainz 05
Burkardt (2'), Stach (4'), Lacroix (90' og.)
Barreiro (78')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Mbabu (82')

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

:Headline: Preview: Mainz 05 vs. Wolfsburg - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Mainz 05 and Wolfsburg, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Both Mainz 05 and Wolfsburg will be looking to bounce back from defeats last weekend when they go head to head in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

The hosts are on a three-game winless run but still find themselves on track for a successful season, whilst the visitors are also on a run of three games without a win after the initial upturn in results under their new manager.

Match preview

In recent years, the 2-1 defeat in Stuttgart would not have been viewed as too much of a disappointment at Mainz, but following their opponents' disappointing start to the campaign, coupled with a positive opening to the 2021-22 season from themselves, manager Bo Svensson would have been expecting a point from the contest at least.

Based on the number of chances that the Carnival side created, and their dominance for large periods in the second half in particular, it will have been viewed as one, or even three, points dropped for certain.

Alexander Hack had equalised shortly before half time after Die Nullfunfer had fallen behind to Hiroki Ito's goal after 21 minutes, but Svensson's side failed to create the clear-cut opening that was required after they fell behind again early in the second half.

That defeat was their first in six games, but following back-to-back 1-1 draws with FC Koln and Borussia Monchengladbach at the Opel Arena, it is in fact three without victory for Saturday's hosts heading into matchday 14.

However, factoring in the expected struggles of Svensson's side coming into each Bundesliga campaign, a ninth-placed spot as things stand is considered a huge success as we approach the halfway stage of the season.

The Danish boss will hope to return to winning ways on Saturday though, and after losing just one of their seven league fixtures at home up to this point, he will be confident of doing so in their quest to achieve an unlikely top-half finish come May.

Meanwhile, Wolfsburg head into their trip to Mainz two places and as many points above their opponents, with just the two points also separating them from Freiburg in the Champions League spots as well.

Florian Kohfeldt's initial new manager 'bounce' appears to have diminished swiftly over their past three games though, with no victories and back-to-back defeats at Sevilla and at home to Borussia Dortmund in the space of five days denting both their European and domestic hopes.

Following the German's replacement of the sacked Mark van Bommel at the end of October, the Wolves were instantly rewarded with three successive victories after his arrival, but this has since been followed by the three-game winless streak.

As a result, their inconsistent start to the campaign leaves their chances of reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League hanging by a thread, whilst also knocking back their efforts to achieve a top-four finish in the Bundesliga in successive seasons.

The most recent of the setbacks came in the 3-1 defeat to second-placed Borussia Dortmund last Saturday, although Wout Weghorst's goal inside the opening two minutes had seemingly set Wolfsburg well on their way to an impressive three points.

Kohfeldt's men failed to kick on from there though, and were on the receiving end of some quality BVB finishing, with the boss hoping his team can be more solid whilst holding a lead if they are able to gain one at Mainz on Saturday.

Mainz 05 Bundesliga form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L

Mainz 05 form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L

Wolfsburg Bundesliga form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L

Wolfsburg form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L

Team News

Mainz will welcome back Stefan Bell to their back three on Saturday, after the central defender missed the defeat in Stuttgart last week due to a one-match suspension.

Twenty-year-old David Nemeth filled in for Bell in that one, so he is likely to drop out in his place, with Hack and Moussa Niakhate retaining their places alongside him.

Jeremiah St Juste and Anderson Lucoqui remain unavailable in central defence and left wing-back respectively, with central midfielder Dominik Kohr joining the duo on the sidelines.

As for Wolfsburg, Kohfeldt will remain without the long-term absentee trio of Xaver Schlager, William and Bartosz Bialek for the trip to Mainz.

First-choice goalkeeper Koen Casteels looks set to miss a third-straight fixture, so Pavao Pervan should continue between the posts for the visitors.

Despite the defeat, the starting lineup is unlikely to see too many changes, with Luca Waldschmidt likely having to settle for a place on the bench once more following his return from injury via a substitute appearance in the loss to Dortmund.

Mainz 05 possible starting lineup:
Zentner; Bell, Hack, Niakhate; Widmer, Lee, Barreiro, Boetius, Martin; Onisiwo, Burkardt

Wolfsburg possible starting lineup:
Pervan; Lacroix, Guilavogui, Brooks; Baku, Arnold, Vrancx, Otavio; Lukebakio, L Nmecha; Weghorst

We say: Mainz 05 1-1 Wolfsburg

Based on recent form and quality provided so far this season, there is little to separate these two sides heading into their clash on Saturday.

As a result, a tight affair with few goals is being predicted by us, with a low-scoring draw looking likely at the Opel Arena.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 goals 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.Under 2.5:data

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