Just three more Bundesliga games until the winter break! In the penultimate home match of the year, Die Roten Bullen will host 1. FSV Mainz 05 on Saturday December 9th (15:30 CET) - the 15th Bundesliga matchday.
Ahead of the encounter, we've gathered together all the most current sporting info surrounding our upcoming opponents.
With 15 points, our upcoming opponents from Mainz currently occupy 14th spot in the Bundesliga table after 14 games. Sandro Schwarz' men have racked up four wins, seven losses and three draws, in a season they have been growing into. Their last outing, however, ended in a 3-1 loss to FC Augsburg.
Their last three games:
- Matchday 12: 1. FSV Mainz 05 vs. 1. FC Köln 1-0
- Matchday 13: SC Freiburg vs. 1. FSV Mainz 05 2-1
- Matchday 14: 1. FSV Mainz 05 vs FC Augsburg 1-3
Mainz without a win on the road:
The Zerofivers are a lot more comfortable playing at the Opel Arena than away from home. So far this season, they have won four games at their in front of their home fans, lost three and shared the points once.
Head-to-head: undefeated against the zerofivers
Last season, Die Roten Bullen came out on top in both of their games against Mainz. In the first encounter at the Red Bull Arena, we claimed a 3-1 win.
The return fixture was a little less simple, but goals from Sabitzer, Werner and Keiter decided the game for RBL (3-2).
Sandro Schwarz following footsteps of klopp, tuchel and schmidt
Born in Mainz, Sandro Schwarz began his footballing career at a few smaller teams, before playing for Mainz' first and second team between 1005 and 2004. After a total of 140 games for the Zerofivers, Schwarz moved to Rot-Weiß Essen, before joining SV Wehen Wiesbaden, where in 2009 he hung up his boots to begin his coaching career.
In the 2013/14 season, Schwarz returned to his old club Mainz 05 and took over the position of head coach of the U19s, before replacing Martin Schmidt as the head coach of the second team in February of 2015. On May 31st 2017, he was announced as head coach of the first team.
With this announcement, Schwarz followed in the footsetps of his predecessors Jürgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel and Martin Schmidt, and became yet another home-grown head coach to lead Mainz in the Bundesliga.
pablo de blasis - a mainz fan favourite
One of the Bundesliga's smallest players, standing 1.56 metres tall and weighing in at just 60kg, is Mainz' centre forward Pablo De Blasis. The Argentine's exciting, non-stop style of play has turned him into a fan favourite at the Opel Arena.
The striker has been under contract at Mainz since the 2014/15 campaign and has so far made 90 Bundesliga appearances for the club. In those games, the 29 year old has found the back of the net eleven times and set up 13 goals. He has also featured in the Europa League for the Zerofivers on 13 occasions, racking up an impressive five goals and three assists.
Curiously, the diminutive forward is known for his heading prowess, as half of his goals last season were headers.
Coach Sandro Schwarz currently has quite a long injury list to deal with. In the upcoming game against Die Roten Bullen, he will have to do without six players:
- Striker Karim Onisiwo has been out since october with a shoulder injury. It is predicted he will be back to help his team in January.
- Goalkeeper René Adler is currently suffering from a thigh injury and will not be able to stand between the posts again until the end of January.
- Top goalscorer Yoshinori Muto has been missing for the past two games with back problems.
- Jairo Samperio and Daniel Brosinski are both out with ankle injuries. Whether they will recover in time for the weekend's game is still unclear.
- Centre-back Abdou Diallo has also missed the last couple of games for the Zerofivers, he has been out with a knee problem.