Away in Mainz! After three draws in a row, the Bulls will be looking to get back to winning ways against 1. FSV Mainz 05. Leipzig dominate the history of the fixture: six wins in seven meetings, most recently an 8-0 victory in the Red Bull Arena.
In his pre-match press conference, Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann spoke about the upcoming opponents, preparations for the game and not converting chances.
Julian Nagelsmann on ...
… preparing for the game:
- "During preparations, I reminded the players of our run up to the reverse fixture. We'd played poorly against Freiburg, but kicked off a great run with a win. We need to keep that in mind. The 8-0 result hasn't been relevant to our preparations. Mainz will be looking to make amends, and we'll try to put in a similarly good performance. However, it's a different situation to the game earlier in the season, so I had no reason to factor in the 8-0."
… 1. FSV Mainz 05:
- "Mainz will a different prospect to what they showed in the reverse fixture. They have a lot more intensity. A few of their players are back on the pitch too, Pierre Kunde is an important player for them, for example. The Zerofivers also tend to mix it up with different formations, and are hard to predict. Mainz's players are quick, brave, play direct football and go for the second ball with aggression. You can see that Achim Beierlorzer coached in Leipzig. You can see the RBL philosophy in Mainz's style of play."
… The prospect of Marcel Sabitzer and Willi Orban making the starting xi:
- "I think Marcel Sabitzer will start on Sunday. He has used the time after his appearance against Freiburg very well and has trained well. I don't like to be without Marcel. He embodies the game as I imagine it. Willi Orban is training more, but isn't an option to start. Firstly, he needs more training after a long period out with injury. Secondly, our defence is playing well, so I feel no need to change it."
… recent wastefulness in front of goal:
- "Small nuances often make a difference. There are also games like the one against Gladbach, where we have three chances and score three goals. We're creating as many chances as we did in the Hinrunde, but our chance conversion rate is 30% lower. But I'm certain that, should we create as many chances as we did against Freiburg, we'll win against Mainz."
… a current dip in form:
- "There are only a few games left, so each one is important. Of course we know how the table looks and that the last matchday didn't go 100% in our favour. But I can look at our performance against Leipzig and wouldn't be exaggerating when I say that we played really well. You can't say that we didn't try everything. We know that we need to put points on the board, and we will put points on the board again!"
+++ Team news +++
- Dayot Upamecano returns from suspension and may play against Mainz.
- Emil Forsberg will return to team training from tomorrow. It's still undecided if he'll make the squad.
- Ibrahima Konaté is injured and didn't train this week. He is out for Mainz.
- Marcel Halstenberg has picked up four yellow cards. One more booking would mean a one-match suspension.