After failing to win a single match in nine tries to start the season, the 49 year old Robin Dutt was sacked by Werder Bremen. In return, the club who currently sits at the bottom of the table in the Bundesliga, hired Ukranian Viktor Skripnik, a man who has been with the club for a total of eighteen years. Werder Bremen had gotten off to a horrible start to the Bundesliga having drawn the first three matches of the season before losing the next three matches. That was followed up by a 1-1 draw with Freiburg and a 6-0 defeat at Bayern Munich and ended Dutt's reign at the helm with 0-1 home loss to Koln.
During midweek, Werder Bremen defeated Chemnitzer FC, who play in the 3. Liga, by a score of 0-2, giving the rejuvenated squad more confidence going into this weekend's match. Skripnik gave an interview with Mainz's website this past week and had this to say about how he plans on playing his football,“I played under Walerij Lobanowski and Thomas Schaaf, who both influenced me massively. When Thomas Schaaf was manager, he showed me how football should work. Werder always play attacking and attractive football that the fans can enjoy. I also want to play this way. Football is a game and I want to play football and not class it as work. Football should be fun.”
But Mainz are a whole different animal and have been flying high above expecations again to start this season. They suffered their first defeat of the season this past weekend against a very strong Wolfsburg side by a scoreline of 3-0.“We need to get back to winning ways. We need to improve. We didn’t play well against Wolfsburg. Obviously, you lose games in football, but the performance wasn’t good. We need to work hard in every single game," said Danish manager Kasper Hjulmand in his prematch press conference.
This will be a very interesting encounter this weekend between two clubs who are lookig to regain form, Werder Bremen more so than the home side. The Coface is a small arena, which holds a little less than 35,000 people, and will be backing Mainz from the opening whistle to the final, making a fantastic atmosphere throughout. However, Skripnik will have other plans. His side needs points and are going to be geared up and ready to go for this encounter.