With a third of the 2015/16 season done and dusted, bundesliga.com is checking in with all 18 clubs to see where they are at after 12 matches.
Martin Schmidt's 1. FSV Mainz 05 are a side on the up in 2015/16...
The story so far
Mainz, and particularly coach Martin Schmidt, can be satisfied with their start to the campaign. There have been impressive wins against UEFA Champions League participants VfL Wolfsburg and Borussia Mönchengladbach, as well as a dramatic triumph in the local derby at SV Darmstadt 98. Indeed, when in full flow, Der Karnevalsverein are an impressive sight: with Yunus Malli and Yoshinori Muto leading the high press and Jairo Samperio and Pablo de Blasis out wide, Schmidt's men are not short of quality in the final third.
However, home defeats to FC Ingolstadt 04, FC Bayern München, Borussia Dortmund and SV Werder Bremen have exposed something of soft underbelly. Although in defence Leon Balogun has adapted well to the rigours of the top flight, the absence of Elkin Soto and the departure of Johannes Geis have left a hole in defensive midfield alongside Julian Baumgartlinger which is yet to be properly filled.
- Only three teams have registered more goals than Mainz's 18 this season.
- The 05ers' pressing game is also firing on all cylinders: no side has scored more than Mainz's eight goals after the opposition has lost possession.
- Yunus Malli has scored 7 Bundesliga goals in 2015 - more than any other midfielder.
With seven goals to his name Yunus Malli has been Mainz's stand-out player so far in 2015/16. The 23-year-old, who recently pledged his international allegiance to Turkey, became the third Mainz player ever to score a Bundesliga hat-trick when his one-man show saw off TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Matchday 5. The upward curve has since continued, with strikes against SV Darmstadt 98 and VfL Wolfsburg securing the 05ers crucial victories in recent weeks. Indeed, Malli's previous highest return over the course of a season was six goals; with a new personal best already under his belt, you can bet that his silky midfield play will continue to play a major role over the remainder of the season.
Most memorable quote
"I don't quite know what it was I sang, but I really enjoyed it!"
Yoshinori Muto after joining in with the fans' post-match Humba after his brace versus Hannover 96 on Matchday 3.
Japanese superstar Yoshinori Muto has certainly lived up to his billing. Arriving amid plenty of fanfare, Mainz beat off a host of other clubs to secure the striker's signature, and he has repaid them by becoming the first player from the Land of the Rising Sun ever to score six goals in his first 12 Bundesliga games. That impressive haul has included a hat-trick against FC Augsburg on Matchday 11 and the aforementioned brace against Hannover, while he has also recorded two assists. Versatile, lithe and hard-working, Muto is already a firm favourite at the Coface Arena.
Track the highs and lows of Mainz's campaign so far with our interactive table here.