Ending Bayern Munich’s mixed record at Mainz’s Mewa Arena is the absolute top priority for Allianz Arena coach Thomas Tuchel as he plots to bridge a two point deficit on leaders Bayer Leverkusen on match day eight of this season’s Bundesliga. Bo Svensson’s side are one of three winless teams after seven rounds of action but the visit of the Bavarian giants usually brings the best out of them, for Mainz have won three out of their last four encounters with Bayern Munich on home turf.
After netting twice against Italy to help England qualify for Euro 2024 in Germany, Bundesliga record signing Harry Kane should come out all guns blazing to improve on his already impressive tally of eight goals and four assists. All four of those assists together with another in the Champions League, have been for Leroy Sane who is playing the best football of his career.
The pair are thus automatic starters with Serge Gnarby, Jamal Musiala, Eric Chuopo Moting and Kingsley Coman all jostling for the last forward position.
Thomas Muller’s vast experience implies he should be preserved for Tuesday’s Champions League date with Turkish champions Galatasaray. Svensson is meanwhile hoping his misfiring attacking triumvirate of Karim Onisiwo, Ludovic Ajorque and Anwar El Ghazi can help Mainz improve on a dismal return of just six goals scored to date.
Perennial rivals Borussia Dortmund have an excellent platform to seize temporary leadership of the standings when they host Werder Bremen on Friday night. Edin Terzic’s Black and Yellows are still haunted by Bremen’s injury time turnaround that saw the visitors score three injury time goals to win 3-2 at Signal Iduna Park last season. Currently languishing in the lower echelons of the division, the four time champions aren’t the same kettle of fish having sold top scorer Niklas Fulkrug to Dortmund.
Saturday’s action also witnesses Union Berlin attempt to end a seven match losing streak when they host high flyers Stuttgart. The extra burden of playing in Europe is taking a heavy toll on Urs Fischer’s side as they must juggle resources in readiness for Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Napoli. Stuttgart’s Guinean striker Serhou Guirassy will be aiming to extend his epoch making run that has yielded 13 goals in just seven outings.
Borussia Dortmund v Werder Bremen
Union Berlin v Stuttgart,
Freiburg v Bochum,
Wolfsburg v Bayer Leverkusen,
Hoffenheim v Eintracht Frankfurt,
Darmstadt v RB Leipzig,
Mainz v Bayern Munich
Koln v Gladbach,
Heidenheim v Augsburg