Preview - 1. FSV Mainz 05 - Eintracht Frankfurt: Both sides in need of a win in Rhein-Main derby
Image credit: VAVEL (Jonny Walsh)

In one of two clashes between local Bundesliga rivals this weekend, 1. FSV Mainz 05 and Eintracht Frankfurt meet in the Rhein-Main derby on Saturday afternoon looking to push on after half-hearted starts to the season.

Both occupy spots in the bottom half of the table ahead of their encounter, separated by three points but just one place after 13 games, but will hope a win in this fixture can inspire them into finding form to move them up the standings.

Recent form

Neither come into this game off the back of a win, but it is Frankfurt marginally in the poorer form.

Mainz were on the right side of a result just before the international break, managing a brilliant 2-0 win over VfL Wolfsburg, but they were unable to follow this up with victory last time out, drawing 0-0 at 1. FC Köln.

Back-to-back clean sheets certainly shows improvement though after they had gone 10 games without one, conceding 20 goals in that time.

As for Frankfurt, they are currently on a run of three games without a win and have scored just one goal in that time. Though their goalless draw at home to Bayern Munich was a great result at the end of last month, the same scoreline away at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim was not as pleasing, nor was the 3-1 defeat suffered at the hands of Bayer Leverkusen last time out.

Their last victory came away at Hannover 96 in October, and so they will be more than eager to get back to winning ways in a local derby tomorrow.

Previous meetings

Unlike the Nordderby tomorrow which is in its 147th installment, this fixture is not as established in German football, with this just the 23rd episode. The two sides are level on the head-to-head too, winning five games each and drawing the remaining 12 in their 22 meetings since their first in the 1996-97.

Despite this, only two of the last eight Rhein-Main derbies have ended in draws, and Mainz have registered four of their total of five wins in the last four years too.

The last time the two met, it was in fact Mainz who came out winners, overcoming their rivals by a 3-1 scoreline at home after trailing in the game. Yunus Malli concluded the scoring in that match and one would not be surprised to see him on the scoresheet in this clash either, the midfielder having bagged seven goals already this season.

Frankfurt's last win, on the other hand, came in the 2013-14 season as they defeated their opponents 2-0 at home - Joselu, now of Stoke City, and the prolific Alexander Meier on the scoresheet in that game.

Team news

November has not been the best for Frankfurt, who have seen several players pick up injuries over the course of the month.

Summer signing Luc Castaignos was ruled out until January earlier this week, whilst Marco Russ remains sidelined with a muscle injury and Stefan Reinartz is also absent.

Johannes Flum is expected to return after being ill though, whilst the comebacks of Sonny Kittel and Emil Balayev are now only around the corner - both expected to be back in action next month.

Mainz, on the other hand, have no new injury concerns, with those on the sidelines being players who have been out since at least September, and will look to use this to their advantage as they welcome their local rivals to the Coface Arena.

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