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Mainz look to seal Köln’s Bundesliga fate with victory

Written by on April 27, 2024

By Moritz Baer@MoritzBaer_UK

A relegation-threatend Mainz side look to put the nail in the coffin in 1. FC Köln’s five year Bundesliga stay at home at the MEWA arena by beating them, and in turn effectively relegating Timo Schultz’s side.

Mainz 05

Mainz were unfortunate not to get more than the single point they travelled back home with last weekend against Freiburg. 

The away side levelled thanks to Jonathan Burkardt late in the first half but were dominant in both shots and possession.

Ahead of Sunday, Mainz sit in 16th place in the Bundesliga and are a win off getting outside of the bottom three following Bochum’s 3-0 win against Hoffenheim on Friday.

However, since the arrival of Bo Henriksen in February, Mainz have looked a different side to the one that picked up only twelve points in the Bundesliga’s Hinrunde.

Their form in recent weeks has been the main catalyst of survival hopes around the club as they had picked up back-to-back four goal victories against Darmstadt and Hoffenheim before last weekend.

Despite this, Bo Henriksen recognised that the final games of the season will be tough when he said: “None of the remaining games will be easy. We’re approaching every one of the remaining matches the same way – we’re going out there to win.”

Team news

For Mainz, they have a long list of players unavailable for the match against Köln: Jae-Sung Lee (yellow card suspension), Jessic Ngankam (hamstring injury), Maxim Leitsch (muscular injury), Stefan Bell (illness) and Tom Krauß (yellow card suspension).

The doubts for Bo Henriksen’s team are Andreas Hanche-Olsen and Leandro Barreiro.

Köln

FC Köln were stunned by bottom side Darmstadt as they dropped all three points in a very poor performance at home. 

For the Lillies, two second half goals were enough to sink Köln’s survival hopes at the Müngersdorfer stadium. 

Adding to this, Köln have lost eight times to Mainz away from home since the 05ers were first promoted to the Bundesliga twenty years ago.

Despite this, Köln can take some positives out of the performance of Julian Chabot as he won eight aerials and provided an offensive threat against Darmstadt. 

For Timo Schultz, goals remain the largest problem as his side have only registered a measly twenty-three this season.

Without Davie Selke through injury, players like Faride Alidou and Luca Waldschmidt will be relied on for their attacking output.

Ahead of Sunday’s vital relegation clash, 1. FC Köln’s manager Timo Schultz spoke about Sunday in his pre-match press conference and said: “The majority of fans are still behind us and believe in us.”

Lastly, he added: “The game against Darmstadt wasn’t good. We want our team to be brave at the weekend and push forward.”

Team news

Justin Diehl is still out for Köln with injury and isn’t ready yet. Both Luca Kilian and Davie Selke have been ruled out of the season with injury.

Finally, Dejan Ljubicic is a doubt with illness (which ruled him out of the Darmstadt game) and Leart Paqrada is also a doubt due to illness.

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