09 February 2019
Highly motivated after a stunning 3-1 home win over Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen travel to the Opel Arena looking to post the third successive triumph over the unpredictable Mainz 05 side.
Last week’s disastrous 3-0 road loss to Augsburg has brought Mainz’s four-game Bundesliga lossless streak (W2, D2) to an end, and it was also the seventh consecutive Bundesliga clash in which Sandro Schwarz’s men failed to keep a clean sheet. All six of Mainz’s previous BL home clashes have produced goals on both ends, with four of them ending with the identical 2-1 scoreline (two in and two against the hosts’ favor). Die Nullfünfer have a chance to post back-to-back home victories for the first time since the opening two BL home games and interfere in the Europa League promotion race. Their inability to maintain consistency has seen Karnevalsverein collecting and dropping points in sequences, especially when it comes to their recent home outings. In their last six games in front of the home supporters, Schwarz’s players have secured just two wins (W2, D2, L2), scoring over 1.5 goals per match on three occasions in the process.
Meanwhile, Leverkusen’s strong run of form in the last five weeks (W4, L1) has rocketed them ‘only’ seven points adrift of the Champions League promotion territory. However, the visitors come into this meeting following a shameful 2-1 road loss to the German second-tier outfit Heidenheim in DFK Pokal, which was their third defeat in their previous seven road clashes across all competitions (W3, D1, L3). Just like their rivals, Peter Bosz’s crew has been dealing with a lot of ups and downs this campaign, especially when playing away from home. A period of suffering followed by a period of success has seen the Company XI going from three straight BL road games without a win (D1, L3) to two consecutive triumphs. Leverkusen’s relentless attack and a shaky backline have allowed the neutral to enjoy 22 goals in their last six BL away encounters, with Bosz’s men bagging 13 goals in the process.
Provisional line-up – Mainz 05:
Gk: Muller Defense: Niakhate – Gbamin – Aaron – Hack – Brosinski Midfield: Ridle Baku – Maxim – Quaison Attack: Boetius – Mateta
Provisional line-up – Bayer Leverkusen:
Gk: Hradecky Defense: Wendell – Tah – Sven Bender – Weiser Midfield: Aranguiz – Havertz – Brandt Attack: Bailey – Bellarabi – Volland
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