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Feb 5, 2022 at 2.30pm UK
Mainz 05Mainz 05
Jae-sung (79'), Niakhate (83' pen.)
FT(HT: 0-0)

Hubner (17'), Rutter (74')

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

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

Mainz 05 welcome Hoffenheim to the MEWA Arena on Saturday afternoon for a mid-table clash in matchweek 21 of the Bundesliga season.

Both sides are on a worrying run of form, having earned just one win each so far in 2022, but they remain in respectable spots in the league table.

Match preview

Mainz's 10th place in the standings at this stage is an outstanding achievement for a side usually fighting it out at the wrong end of the table; however, their form since the turn of year may be ringing alarm bells.

They have managed just a single victory - a narrow 1-0 win against fellow top-tier newcomers Bochum - and now find themselves on a run of three successive defeats in all competitions.

Die Unabsteigbaren were immediately able to take their revenge, knocking Mainz out of the DFB Pokal three days later, before Bo Svensson's side allowed lowly Greuther Furth to earn their second win of the season, and then fell 1-0 at home to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Fortunately for Die Nullfunfers, that was only a friendly, but it will have done nothing for their confidence and Svensson will be desperate to see his side rediscover some form this weekend.

They will have a fair opportunity to do so, against a side who have produced a similar string of results so far in 2022.

Five wins and two draws in seven Bundesliga games saw Hoffenheim shoot up the table and into the mix for the Champions League places before the winter break and, with a win on their return to action, it looked as though they would pick up where they left off.

The wheels have fallen off since then, though, with three back-to-back defeats, including a painful exit from the DFB-Pokal via a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Freiburg.

Die Kraichgauer were perhaps unfortunate to lose their most recent game, however, as they impressively held Borussia Dortmund to a total of just four shots, only for two of them to hit the back of the net and then a David Raum own goal to seal a 3-2 victory for BVB.

Despite their recent losses, Sebastian Hoeness's side remain seventh in the table and are just three points off the Champions League spots, so there is plenty of time to reignite their charge towards Europe.

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

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

Hoffenheim Bundesliga form:
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L

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

Team News

Svensson named the same starting XI for his side's last two league games and is not one to tinker, but could welcome back Dominik Kohr, who returned to full training recently after a long-term injury.

Marcus Ingvartsen is still struggling with an adductor injury, however, and striker Adam Szalai is recovering from an operation on a head injury.

New signing Delano Burgzorg arrived from Heracles in the January window and will likely start on the bench.

Andrej Kramaric netted his 100th goal in Hoffenheim colours against Dortmund and will continue to lead the line alongside Munas Dabbur.

Sebastian Rudy is suspended after picking up five yellow cards, but Diadie Samassekou is back home after Mali's exit from the Africa Cup of Nations.

Chris Richards is a doubt after picking up a knock on international duty, whilst newest American defender Justin Che could feature at some point.

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

Hoffenheim possible starting lineup:
Baumann; Posch, Vogt, Hubner; Bebou, Geiger, Samassekou, Raum; Baumgartner; Kramaric, Dabbur

We say: Mainz 05 2-2 Hoffenheim

In a derby with local pride at stake, this could prove to be a fiery encounter. Both sides will want to return to winning ways but may well cancel each other out in what should be an entertaining game.

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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