Preview: FSV Mainz 05 – FC Bayern

Justin Separator December 1, 2016

If you exclude the 0-0 on the 6th game day against VfL Wolfsburg, a minimum of two goals were scored, when Mainz were on the pitch. That is also down to the defence being more unstable than the previous years.

Both teams compared in the Bundesliga.(Graphic: Lukas)
Both teams compared in the Bundesliga.
(Graphic: Lukas)

With 42 goals they conceded the fourth lowest amount last season. The year before it was 47 (9th place) and in the 2013/2014 season with 54 goals conceded they were also in 9th place. The positive trend is yet to be confirmed this season. Only Freiburg, Darmstadt (both 24), Hamburg (27) and Bremen (31) have conceded more goals than Mainz (22) after 12 games played.

The reasons aren’t exclusively found in the behaviour against the ball, though. In a 4-4-2 formation the team is still defending as disciplined as their options allow them to and only offer tight spaces. The hectic possession periods are a problem.

The team lacks composure in the centre. Baumgartlinger’s departure wasn’t coped with well and the injury of Danny Latza makes this issue even more difficult. The eleven of Martin Schmidt has a hard time getting out of their own half with short passing.

Huge space has to be by-passed often, which increases the risk of losing the ball. Mainz are turning the ball over twice as much as last season.

The graphic is showing the origin of a turnover. In case of a misplaced pass the position of the player attempting it. The graphic is revealing the massive problems in Mainz's defensive midfield space.(Graphic: Lukas)
The graphic is showing the origin of a turnover. In case of a misplaced pass the position of the player attempting it. It visualises the massive problems in Mainz’s defensive midfield space.
(Analytics: Lukas)

Nonetheless, Mainz aren’t losing their offensive penetration. They’re immensely dangerous in transition and don’t need a lot of chances to score a goal. From 113 attempts 22 have resulted in a goal, marking the fourth best rate in the league.

On Friday Mainz can sit back and utilize their strengths in transition. FC Bayern can look forward to a real challenge.

For the record champions it’ll come down to pressuring Mainz’s defensive midfielders space. Munich would help themselves, if they control the game and keep FSV away from their own third.

It’s not down to stopping Yunus Malli (10 scorer points) and Pablo de Blasis (7 scorer points) alone. Jhon Córdoba as well, given he’s going to play, because he can score any time, too.

Primarily, Bayern have to find new solutions with the ball. Focusing on the wing this much makes them predictable. Especially the left side is lacking support. Alaba and Costa are crossing the ball 5 times per 90 minutes, while Bernat is still averaging 2.5. Overall delivering 104 crosses from the left and 84 from the right.

During the week we’ve defined five important tasks for Ancelotti. Including better positional play and with this better solutions through the centre. It would certainly be beneficial, if Ancelotti and the team would start with it this Friday.

Five bold predictions

  1. Bayern will be top of the league, at least for one night.
  2. Mainz will score.
  3. The game will be level at half-time.
  4. The record champion will score twice in the second half.
  5. Müller will be directly involved in at least one goal.

In the Leverkusen preview four out of five predications were once again correct. 43/85 in total.

»Eier, wir brauchen Eier!«

— Oliver Kahn

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