Mainz head to Hoffenheim with Europe in their sights

1. FSV Mainz 05 hope to remain on course for European football when they travel to relegation-threatened TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Saturday afternoon (kick-off: 15:30CET/14:30GMT).

Watch: Mainz 2-1 Schalke MD21 highlights

Friday’s 2-1 win over FC Schalke 04 gave Mainz their third consecutive win of 2016 and pulled them up to sixth, only two places behind Hertha Berlin in the fourth and final UEFA Champions League place.

Andrej Kramaric scored before being sent off in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at SV Werder Bremen. New coach Julian Nagelsmann will have to make do without the Croatia forward, as he looks to mastermind Hoffenheim’s first win of 2016.

Watch: Bremen 1-1 Hoffenheim MD21 highlights


Matchday 5 rewind: Mainz 3-1 Hoffenheim

Goals: 0-1 Schmid (13'), 1-1 Malli (18'), 2-1 Malli (61'), 3-1 Malli (69')

Matchday 22 - match facts

    Mainz and Hoffenheim are the two of the longest-running members of the Bundesliga. Mainz have played in the top flight without interruption since the 2009/10 season. Hoffenheim secured their first ever top flight promotion the previous season, and have stayed in the top flight since.Since the three-points-for-a-win rule was introduced, only one team (of a possible 12) with 15 points or less after 21 matchdays has avoided relegation (FC Augsburg in 2012/13).Mainz’s 2-1 win over FC Schalke 04 on Friday was their third consecutive victory. It was also the first time Die Nullfünfer had won three games in a row under coach Martin Schmidt.Schmidt has now overseen 34 games as coach. His record reads: 15 wins, six draws and 13 defeats.Hoffenheim have won only one of ten home games this season (beating Hannover 96 1-0 on Matchday 16). Their record on the road is similarly weak, with their 3-1 win at FC Augsburg on Matchday 7 their lone triumph away from their WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar-Arena.Mainz have already won four times away from home – one more than in the whole of last season.Poland midfielder Eugen Polanski moved from Mainz to Hoffenheim in 2013, having scored four times in 87 games for the Rhineland-Palatinate side.Malli's hat-trick in the reverse fixture was the Turkey midfielder’s first career hat-trick, and only one to date.Mainz have only scored three goals from set pieces. Hoffenheim have managed four.

Possible line-ups

Hoffenheim:Baumann - Bicakcic, Schär, Süle - Strobl - Kaderabek, Schmid - Rudy, Nad. Amiri - Volland, E. Vargas

Absentees: Herdling (knee), Kramaric (suspended)

Mainz: Karius - Brosinski, Balogun, Bungert, Bussmann - Baumgartlinger, Latza - Clemens, Malli, Jairo - Cordoba

Absentees: Berggreen, Muto (both knee), Soto (light training), Klement (thigh), Donati (suspended)