Fußball-heute.de previews Saturday’s Bundesliga clash between RB Leipzig and Mainz 05, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Top-four hopefuls RB Leipzig host relegation-threatened Mainz 05 in the Bundesliga at the Red Bull Arena on Saturday.

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A kinder set of fixtures makes Leipzig the favourites to leapfrog Borussia Dortmund into fourth, while the odds are still stacked against Mainz’s survival, despite a positive result before the international break.

Match preview

Leipzig will enter the weekend fully expectant of another win which would boost their hopes of a sixth straight Champions League qualification.

Facing relegation candidates, Leipzig have the easier game on paper compared to Dortmund, who go to Bayern Munich this weekend in Der Klassiker.

Playing in the earlier slot also gives Marco Rose‘s side the chance to go into fourth before Dortmund play, with just one point separating the sides heading into the weekend.

Taking advantage of that favourable run of games has seen Leipzig keep in touch with Edin Terzic‘s men, as a woeful start to 2024 put their top-four hopes in danger.

After a run of just two wins in eight games, Die Roten Bullen have now recorded three straight victories, with the previous two coming against the two clubs currently in the automatic relegation places.

Following 5-1 and 2-0 wins over Koln and Darmstadt, this weekend’s fixture now pits them against the side in the relegation playoff spot.

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After beating Mainz by an aggregate score of 13-0 during the 2019-20 season, Leipzig have encountered some trouble against their upcoming opponents, though.

Mainz have won four of their previous six meetings, including a shock 3-0 win here at the Red Bull Arena last season.

Even earlier this season, goals from Lee Jae-sung and Leandro Barreiro Martins helped Mainz to a 2-0 win over Rose’s men.

That means there may not be any repeat of those 19-20 thrashings, even though Mainz lost 8-1 at Bayern in their previous away outing.

However, that win here last season remains the last time Mainz won a game on the road in the Bundesliga, as a joint club-record 17 games have gone by without success away from the MEWA Arena.

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It is therefore not surprising to see that Mainz have the worst away record in the Bundesliga, with just six points to their name and still the only team without a win this season.

Bo Henriksen did at least provide a positive result before the international break, as Mainz were able to beat Bochum 2-0, moving out of the automatic relegation places and closing the gap to just six points on Thomas Letsch’s side when the gap seemed insurmountable not long ago.

RB Leipzig Bundesliga form:

RB Leipzig form (all competitions):

Mainz 05 Bundesliga form:

Aufstellungen

A booking in Leipzig’s last match for Amadou Haidara means the midfielder will miss this encounter through suspension.

Lukas Klostermann is back with the squad though after a lengthy layoff with a thigh injury, but fellow defender Willi Orban could miss this one after sitting out Hungary duty with a groin issue.

Mainz will also be without a midfielder of their own due to suspension after Dominik Kohr picked up a yellow card in the win over Bochum.

Nadiem Amiri is likely going to feature despite a recent illness, and Josuha Guilavogui made a quick recovery from the concussion he suffered in the 8-1 defeat to Bayern.

Manager Henriksen has revealed that all of Mainz’s internationals have returned and are ready to feature in Leipzig this weekend.

RB Leipzig possible starting lineup:
Gulacsi; Henrichs, Klostermann, Lukeba, Raum; Kampl, Schlager; Dani Olmo, Openda, Sesko, Simons

Mainz 05 possible starting lineup:
Zentner; Fernandes, Berg, Hanche-Olsen; Widmer, Barreiro Martins, Amiri, Caci; Burkardt, Lee; Ajorque

We say: RB Leipzig 4-1 Mainz 05

Leipzig have shown little mercy to the sides struggling at the bottom in recent weeks, and a similar story could play out this weekend against another.

The 8-1 loss at Bayern three weeks ago will still linger in the memory despite the win over Bochum that followed, and Mainz will just hope they do not suffer the same fate this weekend.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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