bundesliga.com looks ahead to a decisive night at the Mercedes-Benz Arena...
It's last-chance-saloon time for a Stuttgart side that start the weekend already four points adrift of outright safety. They could climb as high as the relegation play-off spot in 16th with a win, but mid-table Mainz are hardly going to roll over as they look to make dropping out of the division a mathematical impossibility.
Left-back Adam Hlousek is available again following suspension, meaning Florian Klein can revert to his favoured position on the right-hand side of the back four. Central defender Georg Niedermeier is a doubt with a thigh problem, but could feature following long-term injury and illness.
Colombian midfielder Elkin Soto faces a lengthy absence after sustaining a horrific knee injury against Hamburger SV last time out, but South Korean international left-back Joo-Hoo Park is available again. Daniel Brosinski's suspension should see either Gonzalo Jara or Pierre Bengtsson fill in at right-back.
In-form striker showed there's more than one string to his bow after laying goals for Martin Harnik and Filip Kostic in last weekend's narrow 3-2 defeat to FC Schalke 04. The 24-year-old has now had a say in eight of Stuttgart's last 14 strikes and will almost certainly be at the heart of the action this weekend.
didn't have the best of times during a 36-month spell at Stuttgart, but the Japan international proved an instant hit once he moved to Mainz in summer 2013. He scored 15 times in his debut campaign at the club and has 12 league goals to his name in 2014/15, four of which have come in his last eight outings.
Huub Stevens (head coach): "[Last week's performance] has to give us confidence. On top of that, we can look forward to having the fantastic support of our fans behind us. That can only be enjoyable [for the players]. Football's a beautiful thing."
(midfielder): "[Stuttgart] are actually a good team. They sit back and will be really aggressive."
Niko Bungert (defender): "Obviously we always want to win. Of course, Stuttgart are in a completely different position. They're fighting to survive."
After picking up a morale-boosting 3-2 win over SV Werder Bremen on Matchday 28, Stuttgart have drawn at home to SC Freiburg and suffered narrow away defeats to FC Augsburg and Schalke. Mainz, meanwhile, were on a two-match winning run until last weekend's 2-1 reverse at home to Hamburg.
No other side has accumulated fewer points on home soil than Stuttgart this season (13 from 15 games), but die Schwaben have fared much better on the road and even took a point off Mainz at the Coface Arena on Matchday 15. They haven't beaten the 05ers in five attempts, however, dating back to April 2012.
Stuttgart: Ulreich - Klein, Rüdiger, Niedermeier, Hlousek - Serey Dié, Gentner - Harnik, Maxim, Kostic - Ginczek
Mainz: Karius - Jara, Bungert, Bell, J.-H. Park - Geis, Baumgartlinger - Jairo, Malli, Koo - Okazaki