By Jonathan Dicks @Jonathan_Dicks
Mainz are off to the Red Bull Arena on Saturday where they are hoping to continue their hot run of form and inch closer to claiming a spot in European football next season.
|Bo Svensson.||Photo: GEPA Pictures/David Geieregger|
Leipzig are coming off a surprising defeat to Bochum and have also slipped out of the Champions League places. Reports have also stated this week that the likes of Kevin Kampl, Lukas Klostermann and Yussuf Poulsen could all leave the club following the season.
Leipzig’s sole goal for the rest of the campaign is to secure a spot back in Europe’s biggest competition. But, they must be careful to not look ahead to their salivating DFB-Pokal quarterfinal match against Dortmund on Wednesday.
Marco Rose said in his press conference that, “Questions have been asked since our two defeats, but there are a lot of statistics that read in our favor. We have to improve in some areas where we didn’t do well, but we shouldn’t start talking about issues that don’t really exist.”
Captain Peter Gulacsi, Christopher Nkunku and Xaver Schlager won’t suit up. Mohamed Simakan is expected to play along with Dani Olmo, while Poulsen is questionable with a knock.
Mainz haven’t lost in their last six league games and are somewhat quietly sneaking up the table. They now sit just three points behind 6th-place Frankfurt and have European football within their grasp.
Bo Svennson has done a phenomenal job especially following the summer defensive losses of Niakhate, St. Juste and Kilian. Unlike most Bundesliga clubs, Mainz weren’t afraid to invest in the January transfer window and spent nearly €9 million. It’s already paying off.
When discussing his two injured stars, Svensson said, “Jonny (Burkardt) is making progress on his way back from injury. He is in less pain now. I can’t say when he will return. I only know that things are looking up. – Karim (Onisiwo) needed this break. We still need to get him back to 100%.”
Burkardt won’t play, while Onisiwo is questionable on Saturday.