Cologne – The big match on Matchday 7 of the Bundesliga season comes at the Coface Arena when 1. FSV Mainz 05 host FC Bayern München on Saturday (kick-off 15:30 CEST / 13:30 GMT)
Allowbundesliga.com to set the scene and guide you through this weekend's action.
One thing both Bayern and Mainz have in common is the number seven. That refers not only to the matchday on which they are meeting this term, but the number of victories both clubs clocked up in succession at the start of a Bundesliga season – a joint league record until Bayern made it eight in a row in 2012. Bayern managed it first in 1996 with Mainz matching them in 2010, before that record – which Bayern are looking to beat this season – was toppled under Jupp Heynckes in their treble-winning 2012/13 campaign.
"He's got to be tired, hasn't he?" Christian Heidel (l.) said to Sport1. It was mainly wishful thinking on the part of the 1. FSV Mainz 05's general manager after witnessing history being written on Tuesday night. "I was just sat there in front of my TV and I couldn't believe what I saw," he continued. "Seriously, I hope he doesn't do that in every game from now on." Indeed, Mainz will be hoping that Robert Lewandowski scored enough goals in those magical nine minutes on Tuesday to give his own side's defenders a bit of a break. Only four clubs, Bayern included, have conceded fewer than Mainz this season after all.
Bayern's bogey team?
Bayern have often struggled on their visits to Mainz, with only a last-gasp Arjen Robben goal earning them the points at the Coface Arena last December. In August 2009, Mainz picked up a 2-1 win under the stewardship of current Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel, who got one over the Bavarians again with a 3-2 victory in 2011. Sandwiched between those wins was Mainz's third over the record champions – a 2-1 triumph at the Allianz Arena almost four years ago to the day. "There are certain venues where it's very, very difficult to win, and Mainz is one of these," acknowledged a cautious Guardiola at his pre-match press conference.
Bayern bottom out
To support further the notion that Mainz are one of Bayern's bogey teams, you just have to go back to the 2009/10 season and that 2-1 win which saw Bayern drop to 14th in the Bundesliga. That is the lowest position Bayern have occupied in the new millennium, while it was their first defeat of that season (after two draws). Can Mainz once again throw a spanner in the Bayern works? Niko Bungert is the only remaining Mainz player from that win six years ago available to play this weekend (Elkin Soto is injured), while Bayern still have three players from that defeat: Philipp Lahm, Holger Badstuber and Thomas Müller, with Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben injured then and now.
Bayern's CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge turned 60 on Friday and Pep Guardiola is eager to give him a special gift. "Three points in Mainz are the best present I can give him," said the Catalan coach. He has earned maximum points in his four previous meetings with Mainz, with Bayern scoring ten and conceding just two in those four matches.