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Feb 12, 2022 at 2.30pm UK
Mainz 05Mainz 05
Petersen (69')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Hack (31')
Stach (7'), Kohr (76')

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

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

Two of the Bundesliga's surprise packages this season go head to head at the Schwarzwald-Stadion on Saturday, with Freiburg hosting Mainz 05.

The hosts fell to a defeat last weekend but the Champions League places remain in their sights, whilst the visitors returned to winning ways to reignite their unexpected European challenge themselves.

Match preview

After appearing to be back on track following back-to-back wins over Hoffenheim and Stuttgart in the DFB-Pokal and the Bundesliga respectively, Freiburg were beaten last weekend, in a 1-0 loss at FC Koln.

It was always going to be a tight affair between two of the division's most organised sides defensively, but Christian Streich will be disappointed that his side were the ones on the wrong end of an encounter that required just a single goal to take all three points.

However, with Union Berlin above them in fourth falling to a defeat themselves, Freiburg remain just a single point off the capital side in the Champions League spots.

With only three points separating Streich's men from Saturday's opponents down in 10th though, back-to-back setbacks could change their position drastically come the end of matchday 22 at the weekend.

Streich will therefore be eager to get his side back to winning ways immediately, to ensure their miraculous challenge for the top four, and their incredible start to the campaign, do not drift away disappointingly over the coming months.

In order to do so though, Freiburg must attempt to overcome another similarly-stubborn opponent at the Schwarzwald-Stadion on Saturday, who frustrated them in a goalless draw back in September.

Meanwhile, although Mainz find themselves five places below their opponents heading into matchday 22, they could well leapfrog them should they manage to pick up an impressive victory, due to the previously mentioned three-point gap.

They too have enjoyed a fantastic start to the campaign, although last Saturday's 2-0 victory over Hoffenheim was just their second in their last six games, with the other four ending in defeat.

Lee Jae-sung and Moussa Niakhate netted within four minutes of each other late on against Hoffenheim, as Bo Svensson's side returned to winning ways in impressive fashion against another team also in hope of reaching the top four.

Die Nullfunfer certainly do not expect to achieve an unlikely European spot, but for a side usually fighting it out at the wrong end of the table, the 2021-22 campaign appears to be their best chance of achieving a top-six finish for many years.

As mentioned above, Saturday's visitors are likely to remain solid in an intriguing tactical battle between two well-organised outfits, and with the 23 Bundesliga goals conceded by Mainz bettered only by leaders Bayern Munich at this stage, they will certainly fancy their chances in every fixture they compete in.

Freiburg Bundesliga form:
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L

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

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

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

Team News

Freiburg look set to have a clean bill of health for the welcome of Mainz on Saturday, with no reported injury concerns from their loss at Koln last weekend.

Jonathan Schmid made his long-awaited comeback from injury with a late cameo from the bench in the defeat, but he is unlikely to start just yet.

Twenty-year-old winger Kevin Schade struggled at the RheinEnergieStadion, so despite impressing in previous appearances, Jeong Woo-yeong and Roland Sallai could be battling to deputise for him.

As for the visitors, Jeremiah St Juste remains on the sidelines following his shoulder surgery, meaning Alexander Hack will continue alongside Niakhate and Stefan Bell in the three-man backline.

Svensson could well name an unchanged starting lineup after his side's return to winning ways last weekend, although Dominik Kohr will be pushing for a start after returning from a two-month absence with a substitute appearance in the win against Hoffenheim.

Lee will also be hopeful of earning a start following his impact off the bench, but Marcus Ingvartsen and Niklas Tauer remain absent along with St Juste.

Freiburg possible starting lineup:
Flekken; Kubler, Lienhart, N Schlotterbeck, Gunter; Jeong, Eggestein, Hofler, Grifo; Holer, Demirovic

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

We say: Freiburg 1-1 Mainz 05

It is very difficult to separate these two sides on Saturday, with neither of them at their flowing best in recent weeks.

As mentioned above, it is likely to be a tight and even affair between two teams so defensively organised, so we are predicting the game to finish level and with a shortage of goals.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 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.Over 2.5:data

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