Freiburg booked their spot in the Europa League knockout stages on Thursday night with a 5-0 hammering of Greek side Olympiacos.

But despite their impressive form in Europe this season, Christian Streich’s side have struggled to translate that into the league.

The Breisgau-Brasilianer (Breisgau Brazilians) currently sit ninth, with them being nine points worse off than they were at this stage last season.

But to be fair to Freiburg, their fixture list hasn’t done them any favours.

They’ve already played the entire top seven. But outside of the top five they’re undefeated, winning four and drawing three.

And with them having a favourable run into the winter break, Streich will hoping his team can find some consistency soon.

Mainz meanwhile have struggled to find any form at all.

Die Nullfünfer (the 05ers) currently sit 16th, which is their worst start to a season since 2020.

They’re one point away from safety, and have managed just one win in the league this season, a shock 2-0 home win to RB Leipzig.

They haven’t had much luck in the cup either, losing 3-0 to 2nd division strugglers Hertha Berlin in the second round of the DFB Pokal.

This game marks the start of a crucial period for Mainz with them facing bottom sitters Koln and 17th placed Union Berlin in the coming weeks.

So it’s high time Mainz found the form that has kept them in the Bundesliga for the last 14 seasons.

Both teams are in need of some Bundesliga consistency, and despite Freiburg being favourites, it's anyone's guess who could come out on top this Sunday.

Team news

Mainz

Jan Siewart’s side will be without first choice goalkeeper Toni Zentner after he suffered bone damage in his finger during last week’s game away to Hoffenheim.

Defender Maxim Leitsch is also out after an injury in training, and Austrian striker Karim Onisiwo is a doubt after he sustained an ankle ligament problem before the international break.

Freiburg

Freiburg’s injury list is almost as long as your arm.

German international and captain Christian Günter is still out with a ruptured cruciate ligament and a fractured fore arm sustained earlier this season.

Forward Maximilian Phillip has a shoulder injury, Lukas Kubler has a broken toe and midfielder Daniel-Kofi Kyereh has a knee problem, defensive midfielder Yannik Keitel will miss out with a groin injury and young fullback Max Rosenfelder is on the sidelines with a tendon problem.

Likely line-ups

Mainz- Lasse Finn Rieß; Widmer (C), Fernandes, Van Den Burg, Mwene, Barreiro, Krauß, Barkok, Lee, Richter, Ajorque

Freiburg- Atubolu, Sildillia, Ginter, Leinhart, Doan, Eggestien, Sallai, Makengo, Holer, Gregoritsch, Grifo (C)

Key Players

Mainz- Lee Jae Sung

The South Korean international joined Mainz from Holstein Kiel in 2021 and has impressed since his arrival in Rhineland-Palatine.

Last season the 31-year-old registered seven goals and four assists from midfield, and got himself a nomination for the Bundesliga Team of the Season.

So far this season he’s scored two crucial goals for Mainz, and has been a glimmer of light in an otherwise gloomy season for the Nullfünfer.

Freiburg- Vincenzo Grifo

It just had to be Grifo, in his two spells at Freiburg he’s seen it all.

He was crucial in their promotion to the Bundesliga in 2017, and upon his return the 30-year-old has been absolutely essential in Freiburg’s back to back Europa League qualifications in 21/22 and 22/23.

Last season he registered 15 goals and five assists and has carried his fine form into this season, with him scoring seven goals and assisting seven in all competitions so far.

The Italian international has become one of the Bundesliga’s best attackers, and is absolutely key to their team.

Match details

Where is the match being played?

The game will be played at the MEWA Arena in Mainz

What time is kick-off?

Kick off is this Sunday at 14:30 GMT

Where can I watch?

Viewers in the UK can watch the match on Sky Sports Football, or on the Sky Sports App and website

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