Borussia Dortmund travel to Mainz 05 on Wednesday evening as they seek to get back into the Champions League places. Last weekend, Dortmund featured in a quite bizarre encounter with Augsburg which ended 4:3 in BVB’s favour.
The match wasn’t one for defenders and only highlighted Dortmund’s defensive frailties. Last season, Dortmund failed to hold onto winning positions through poor defending and playing themselves into trouble from the back.
It was the same on Sunday afternoon. BVB were completely dominated for large parts of the game but after scoring, would immediately make an unforced mistake which led to an Augsburg goal. However, credit where credit is due, Augsburg took their chances well. The scoring finally ended after a frantic four minutes, seeing three goals to make it 4:3. A more significant highlight saw Sebastien Haller finally make his Dortmund debut and feature in his first competitive match after being diagnosed with testicular cancer last summer.
For Mainz, they played out a rather disappointing 1-1 draw with strugglers VfB Stuttgart last weekend. Mainz currently sit on 20 points in mid-table but could just be forced into a relegation scare unless they begin to pick up points early into the calendar year. After failing to win last weekend, Mainz are now five games without a win in the Bundesliga. It’s not yet time to panic for Bo Svensson’s side but if they run extends beyond Dortmund and the weekend, the players and fans may start to get a bit nervous.
This is the start of four home games in five for Mainz. Though this sounds like a positive, they have only won eight games at the MEWA Arena dating back to last May. To make matters worse, Mainz haven’t beaten a BVB side at home since 2014. It’s not yet panic stations but it’s certainly getting there for Mainz.
Expect Dortmund to have much of the ball in this match, similar to their game against Augsburg. The main factor to watch out for is BVB’s defence. If they can stop making silly errors, you’ll have a hard time looking beyond an away win in this encounter.
GGFN | Jamie Allen