Marooned in the bottom two since Matchday 3, the 18th-placed Lions are currently six points shy of the Bundesliga safe house, having won just once this calendar year.
'We need three points'
"We need the three points," asserted Braunschweig head coach Torsten Lieberknecht. "We mustn't forget that we always knew what a big challenge it would be, but we also knew the doors the top flight could open [...] We see Mainz as a bit of a role model in terms of how we'd like to shape our own future. They run a lot, work hard and are on the road to playing Europa League football."
Lieberknecht will no doubt have studied the 05ers' last outing against champions-in-waiting FC Bayern München with a fine-toothed comb. For 45 minutes or so, Thomas Tuchel's side pushed the league leaders to the limit, yet still they couldn't get the breakthrough. The plaudits grew with each passing minute, but eventually the Bavarians' pressure told as two late goals condemned the valiant hosts to only their second defeat since the winter break.
'Fighting for their lives'
"We've all got to put the Bayern game behind us," explained Mainz head coach Tuchel. "The praise we received, despite the defeat, is gone now. The Braunschweig game is a completely new challenge. It's going to be a really tough away game. It makes it even more difficult having to play so soon after facing Bayern. It's going to be emotional against a Braunschweig side that are fighting for their lives."
Mainz will be without suspended midfielder Christoph Moritz, while South Korean international is a major doubt after taking a knock to his thigh in a challenge with Bayern's Mario Mandzukic last time out. As for Braunschweig, it's a simple case of all present and correct.
Braunschweig: Davari - Kessel, Bicakcic, Correia, Perthel - Pfitzner, Boland - Elabdellaoui, Hochscheidt - Kumbela, Ademi
Mainz: Karius - Pospech, Bell, Noveski, Junior Diaz - Geis - Saller, Park - Malli - Okazaki, Choupo-Moting