Hertha Berlin will be looking to avoid an eighth consecutive away defeat when they visit struggling Mainz on Saturday (kick-off 15:30CEST/13:30GMT).
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.