bundesliga.com previews the Herbstmeister's final outing before the German top flight's customary winter break...
Bayern travel to the Coface Arena looking to defend a 20-match unbeaten league run dating back to last season. The current campaign has already yielded 13 wins and three draws from 16 outings, with VfL Wolfsburg currently nine points adrift in second. 11th-placed Mainz, meanwhile, haven't won in over two months.
Kasper Hjulmand has a big decision to make about who to deploy at the back, with Niko Bungert and Stefan Bell ruled out and (r.) a doubt. The Dane will also have to make do without the services of Christoph Moritz and Julian Baumgartlinger in midfield.
and Bastian Schweinsteiger are expected to come in for injured duo Mehdi Benatia and Xabi Alonso. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg could also get a run-out, with Sebastian Rode also sidelined, while a minor knock to Robert Lewandowski will likely see Thomas Müller assume No9 duties.
's form has taken a hit since creator-in-chief Hofmann suffered knee ligament damage on Matchday 8. The Japanese striker's eight league goals so far this season are testament to his undeniable qualities in front of goal, but there's no escaping the fact that he hasn't scored in a Mainz win since Matchday 4.
seems to have improved by the week in 2014. The freshly crowned Dutch Sportsman of the Year notched his 100th competitive strike in Bayern colours in midweek and is currently the club's leading Bundesliga scorer for 2014/15 on nine goals: not exactly statistics a patchwork Mainz defence will want to read.
Hjulmand, Mainz head coach: "I have an idea of how we can get at Bayern…we need flexibility."
Pep Guardiola, Bayern head coach: "I'm really happy [with my squad]. I don't want any more players."
Mainz have amassed just four points in the nine games following their last league win of the campaign against FC Augsburg on Matchday 8. Bayern have accrued 22 points in that time, scoring 18 goals and conceding just one in the process - and that doesn't include their exploits in the UEFA Champions League.
Bayern have won their last four in a row against Mainz, who haven't beaten the record German champions since November 2011. Schweinsteiger and Mario Götze grabbed the goals in last season's corresponding clash to take the Bavarians' overall Bundesliga record against the 05ers to 11 wins, two draws and three defeats.
Mainz: Karius - Brosinski, Noveski, Wollscheid, Jara, Junior Diaz - Koo, Geis, D. Parker - Malli - Okazaki
FC Bayern: Neuer - Rafinha, J. Boateng, Dante, Juan Bernat - Höjbjerg, Schweinsteiger - Robben, M. Götze, Ribery - T. Müller