There weren't many fireworks in the Matchday 22 curtain closer as Mainz and Schalke play out a gritty goalless draw. Mainz had the better chances, but it will be Schalke who will be more disappointed with the result, a third straight draw for the Royal Blues as they lose further ground on the top five.
A CHANCE AT GLORY!
Kutucu earns Schalke as a corner as the fourth official flashes two minutes of added time on his board. Ocziopka whips in a pin-oint corner, which is met by an unmarked McKennie only for the American to head wide. He had to at least hit the target there.
A LET DOWN
Free-kick for Mainz and it's one off the training ground as Brosinski clips a pass to St. Juste who sends a volley off target. Not sure a routine that works the ball for a shot from your centre-back is quite the way to snatch a late winner.
TOUGHER TIES AHEAD
The next couple of games could prove decisive in shaping Schalke's fate this season with a game against Cologne sandwiching games against Leipzig and Bayern. Dropped points here won't help their cause.
It's all gotten very scrappy in the last couple of minutes with the priority for both sides not conceding. As a result there are a distinct lack of risks being taken.
OFF THE BAR!
Mainz go within a whisker of breaking the deadlock as Schalke survive another scare. Kenny misjudges the bounce of the ball putting Quaison one-on-one with Nübel, who slips before recovering to make a vital save forcing the ball onto the bar.
WHY SO MANY TOUCHES?
Mainz force a mistake out of Harit in midfield and work the ball to Quaison inside the box. The Swede takes too much time on the ball though before his eventual shot is blocked by Kenny who responds by geeing up the home crowd.
SCHALKE'S NEW SUPER SUB?
Last weekend, Kutucu made a real impact off the bench scoring their only goal of a 1-1 draw with Paderborn. Here's to hoping he can spark Schalke into life up front tonight.
The second half has been a classic case of both sides cancelling each other out with the only threat to parity coming from set-pieces. Mainz haven't been involved in a goalless draw this season, Schalke have though, three times in fact.
While Schalke made a like-for-like change to protect Todibo who was on a booking, Mainz have shown greater intent by bringing Onisiwo off the bench as Öztunali's night is cut short.
MAINZ MAKING A PUSH
More panic in the Schalke box from a Brosinski delivery as the ball squirms free at the front post where Quaison is unsuccessful with a cheeky backheeled attempt.
SCHALKE SURVIVE A SCARE
Brosinski's free-kicks have caused problems all evening, but his latest floats just over the head of an unmarked Bruma when Nübel had gambled. The Schalke keeper gets away with it though to punch clear.
TAKE A TOUCH
Schalke's biggest drawback has been a lack of compsure in executing any attacking advances. Too often passes are rushed and misplaced when an extra touch would do the visitors a world of good.
FIRST REAL SIGHT OF GREGORITSCH
Brosinski goes flying in on McKennie with a needless challenge to give Schalke a free-kick just outside the box. Harit and Gregoritsch eye it up, but it's the Austrian who strikes. Zentner spills the ball, but recovers quickly to stifle any threat on the rebound.
McKennie fails to find the target from 25 yards out as he sends a cleanly struck volley whizzing just past the post. Schalke are still missing the midfield link at times.
No changes from either side at the break. Will this be a third draw in a row for Schalke or can Mainz pick up back-to-back wins for only the second time this season?
TRUE TO FORM?
Schalke have now failed to score in the first half of all six of their competitive encounters in 2020, but there is hope! Other than the aforementioned 22 goals the Royal Blues have scored in the second half of games this season, it's worth noting that Mainz are yet to be involved in a goalless draw in 2019/20.
Schalke started to find their rhythm as we approached the halfway stage of the game, but it's Mainz who will go in at the break more aggreived by the fact the game is goalless so far. This one could still go either way.
Panic in the Schalke penalty area. Brosinski's cross isn't collected by an under-pressure Nübel who goes down under a challenge. With the goal at his mercy the balls spills to Latza he drags an effort wide of the target.
As if to illustrate just how hard Schalke have had it in the final third, Raman has had just seven touches so far this evening.
It's a first shot on goal of the game for Schalke. Bruma cleared out Raman and from the resulting free-kick Zentner does well to tip Nastasic's header over. The following corner drops in a dangerous area but finds no takers.
With half an hour played, Mainz will be delighted with their performance so far, the exception being the lack of an opening goal. The hosts have won 56 per cent of challnges and have had six shot without conceding any.
MORE PROLIFIC AFTER THE BREAK
Schalke are the lowest scoring Bundesliga side in the first-half of matches with just 10 goals to their name, but fans can take solace in the fact they've netted 22 of their 32 goals after half-time.
Brosinski's outside-of-the-boot cross is headed back across goal by Baku where Szalai takes a touch before seeing a deflected effort gobbled up Nübel. Nastasic's touch on the shot took all the pace off the ball.
MAINZ ON TOP
Zentner's boredom between the sticks for Mainz sees him produce a heavy touch after haring out of his box for a long ball. Mainz get away with it before breaking down the other end where Barreiro scuffs a creative and acrobatic effort in the Schalke box.
TODIBO NOT TOOTHLESS
A brilliant challenge from Todibo stops Quaison in his tracks, but the manner in which the Swede falls to ground saw the Schalke defender get clipped on the jaw by a flailing foot. After mopping up a slightly bloody nose he's back in the action.
WAGNER'S CHARGES TAME
Schalke are still yet to have a shot on goal so far this evening. It's part of a growing trend that has seen them create a combined 35 goalscoring chances in their games against Bayern, Hertha and Paderborn of which just 12 found the target.
ANOTHER HALF CHANCE
A good run from Brosinski down the left results in Szalai scuffing an effort under pressure at the near post from a neat cutback. The former Schalke striker is looking lively in a promising start to proceedings from the hosts.
SCHALKE NEED TO SHARPEN UP
We're seeing the type of numbers that won't please head coach David Wagner with Schalke misplacing just under 30 per cent of their passes through quarter of an hour. They are overloading the wings with Kenny and Oczipka, but are executing their advances well.
The Mainz midfielder has not been short of confidence in the opening exchanges as he again tests Nübel with a teasing effort from range.
Öztunali chances his arm from range with a dipping effort that bounces awkwardly in front of Nübel, but is well gathered by the Schalke keeper.
Mainz are doing well to apply the pressure deep inside Schalke's own half which has forced errant and rash passes out of Todibo and Nübel already. The 05ers are keeping the lines tight.
SCHALKE MATCHING MAINZ
The Royal Blues are playing in a 3-5-2 formation to mirror the wing-back play of their hosts. Mascarell is dropping in as a third centre-back between Todibo and Nastasic.
WE ARE UNDERWAY!
Schalke haven't scored a league goal on home soil since the turn of the year, but are up against the second leakiest backline in the Bundesliga. Who can end another action-packed weekend of Bundesliga action on a winning note?
MAINZ LOOKING TO CAPITALISE ON KARNEVAL VIBES
It's Karneval season in Nord-Rhine Westfalen and Mainz are sporting a specially designed kit to celebrate the occasion. Mainz can move seven points clear of the dreaded drop zone if they can manage to pick up what would be only their fourth home win of the season.
SCHALKE UNDER PRESSURE
The five teams who currently sit above Schalke in the Bundesliga standings have all won this weekend. Can the Royal Blues close the show on Matchday 22 by matching the efforts to stay within touching distance of their fellow top six occupants?
Beierlorzer clearly subscribes to the "never change a winning team" philosophy and has kept the same side that beat Hertha last week. It's an experienced line-up, who boast 1,005 Bundesliga games and 109 goals between them; Schalke by contrast have 861 and 71.
FIRST START FOR TODIBO
Schalke winter signing Jean-Clair Todibo makes his first Bundesliga start here, beginning in central defence with Ozan Kabak on the bench following injury. Jonjoe Kenny is also back in the first XI after recovering from an injury of his own.
Müller, Pierre-Gabriel, Aaron, Mwene, Boetius, Kunde, Mateta, Onisiwo, Burkardt
MAINZ STARTING LINE-UP:
Zentner - St. Juste, Bruma, Niakhate - Baku, Barreiro, Latza (c), Brosinski - Öztunali, Szalai, Quaison
Langer, Miranda, Kabak, Becker, Boujellab, Mercan, Matondo, Kutucu, Burgstaller
SCHALKE STARTING LINE-UP:
Nübel - Kenny, Todibo, Nastasic, Oczipka - Schöpf, Mascarell, McKennie - Harit, Gregoritsch, Raman
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT AWAY
Schalke a firmly in mid-table when it comes to away form this season, having won four, drawn three and lost three so far. In oddly pleasing symmetry, they've earned 15 points on their travels, scoring 15 and conceding 15.
POOR HOME RECORD
Mainz will need to be better than they have been at the Opel Arena if they're to win today, however. Achim Beierlorzer's side have won just three times on their own patch in 2019/20, losing seven and conceding 20 in 10 games. They're one of just two teams (alongside Union Berlin) yet to draw at home this term.
CHANCE FOR MAINZ
Robin Quaison's hat-trick last week will have given the hosts belief they can get a positive result again today. Currently down in 15th place, victory would increase their cushion above the relegation places to a healthy seven points.
SCHALKE EAGER TO GET BACK IN THE GROOVE
David Wagner's side began 2020 with a bang, beating Gladbach 2-0. However, they have suffered a dip in form since then, losing 5-0 to Bayern and drawing with Hertha Berlin (0-0) and Paderborn (1-1). They could really do with a victory today to stay in touch with the five teams above them, who all won this weekend.
HISTORY WITH SCHALKE
The teams have faced each other 27 times in the Bundesliga to date, with the Royal Blues winning 17 of those, including a 2-1 triumph earlier this season. There have been four draws, while Mainz have earned maximum points six times, winning three of the last five against Schalke on home turf.
HELLO AND WELCOME!
We round off the weekend's action from the Opel Arena, where Mainz will be looking to build on last week's much-needed 3-1 victory over Hertha Berlin that put some daylight between them and the relegation zone. Standing in their way are Schalke, looking for their first win in almost exactly a month.
Welcome along to the match centre for the game Mainz vs. Schalke from matchday 22 of the 2019/20 Bundesliga season at the OPEL ARENA. Check back here for full information on the match.