Mainz 05 - FC Bayern Munich: Can Bayern cope with injury blight?
Lewandowski injured against Freiburg. Image Credit:

The Bavarians travel to the city of Mainz with a serious shortage of first team players, as they look to continue their winning run, whilst anything other than a defeat would greatly please the Mainz faithful.

Yet more names were added to the growing injury list for Bayern mid-week after Robert Lewandowski, Mehdi Benatia and Xabi Alonso all picked up injuries within the first half of Tuesday’s game against SC Freiburg. It leaves Pep Guardiola’s side seriously short of players and could have the Spaniard entertaining the idea of bringing in reserve players for cover. Despite having the most depth of any Bundesliga team Bayern are really struggling this year, added to 3 players mentioned earlier Javi Martinez, Thiago Alcantara, David Alaba, Holger Badstuber, Claudio Pizzaro and club captain Philipp Lahm are all out injured among others.

Bayern’s dominance this season is well documented, they have lost only one competitive game this season, the Champions League game against Manchester City after Bayern had already won the group. Since that defeat they have won their last 5 in all competitions and signs look ominous for Kasper Hjulmand’s side as they haven’t won in their last 6 games.

Mainz have had a mixed season so far, they sit in 11th place but are only 3 points ahead Borussia Dortmund who sit in the relegation play-off spot. This past Tuesday they played out a disappointing 0-0 draw with FC Köln who sit one place above them in the table going into the upcoming round of fixtures. Their inconsistency has haunted them all season; at the weekend they threw away a one-goal lead against struggling VfB Stuttgart and before that lost to fellow strugglers Hamburger SV. This is contrasted with impressive wins earlier in the season like 2-0 against Dortmund and 2-1 against high-flying FC Augsburg.

If you do fancy a bet on this game it is probably safe to say that this game won’t end with both sides sharing the spoils because in their last 10 meetings none of the games ended with a draw. At the Coface Arena Bayern have won 3 of the last 5 but with Mainz winning the other two a bet on Mainz might be worth a shot if you fancy a real gamble.

“We’ve got a bonus game against Bayern now, so we’ll have to start picking up points after the winter break”.

Loris Karius

However it seems as if Mainz’s star man between the sticks, Loris Karius, didn’t hold high hopes for the game when he was interviewed after the Köln game; “We’ve got a bonus game against Bayern now, so we’ll have to start picking up points after the winter break”. Midfielder Johannes Geis was slightly more upbeat when he said “The odds are obviously stacked against us against a team like Bayern, but we’ll give everything we’ve got on Friday”. Guardiola on the other hand was more concerned with quelling the rumours about the respective futures of Xherdan Shaqiri and Pierre-Emile Højberg who have both been linked with moves away, “If they want to stay - we are very happy with them”.

Their last meeting ended 2-0 to the away side as Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Götze scored in the last 10 minutes of the game. Felix Zwayer will be in charge of tomorrow’s game and as a result we could see some cards shown, he has given out 4 cards or more in his last 6 games and showed 8 yellow cards and one red in the game between HSV and Werder Bremen.