The Berliners have displayed two faces this season. They are formidable at home, having won 11 of their 14 matches, but their nine points on the road is the third-lowest total in the division and it is something coach Pal Dardai wants to rectify. "It's really important for us to end this run. Mainz are a competitive team, so we've been working hard on our tackling this week."
For the home side, points are an even bigger priority as they seek to arrest a slump in form that has seen them drop to 15th place and just one point above 17th, following a run of five straight defeats. "At the moment, we basically need an open goal to score, while every little half-chance seems to end up in the back of our net," says skipper Stefan Bell. "We just need an ugly 1-0 win."
Mainz: Huth - Donati, Bell, Hack, Brosinski - Quaison, Frei, Latza, Samperio - Cordoba, Muto
Coach: Martin Schmidt
Absentees: Gbamin (suspended), Müller (thigh), Bussmann (adductor), Quaison (thigh)
Hertha Berlin: Jarstein - Pekarik, Langkamp, Brooks, Plattenhardt - Haraguchi, Skjelbred, Allan, Mittelstädt - Ibisevic, Kalou
Coach: Pal Dardai
Absentees: Weiser (thigh), Darida (suspended), Lustenberger (groin) Schieber (ankle), Duda (thigh), Stark (foot), Stocker (thigh)
Remember Yildiray Bastürk?
- Mainz have lost their last five Bundesliga matches, all by one goal.
- Hertha have lost their last seven matches on the road. They have never suffered a longer losing run away from home within a season.
- No team has ever done the double over the other in this fixture. That bodes well for Mainz after Hertha’s win earlier this season.
- The 05ers have won just one of their eight home games against the capital club. They’ve won double that amount against Bayern.
- Mainz have ten goals since the new year. Levin Öztunali has had a hand in an impressive seven of them (3 goals, 4 assists).
- Vedad Ibisevic scored twice in the reverse fixture, including his 100th Bundesliga goal. He was also sent off in that game. It was the last time a player scored a brace and was sent off in the same Bundesliga match.