Mainz vs Leverkusen by Gustav
Mainz didn't start the season in a positive way, as the side firstly lost at home against Hannover with narrow 1:0 result, but suffered the same defeat next weekend when they visited Stuttgart once again staying without a goal scored. However, it must be said that the players of Mainz actually looked pretty well in both matches and in case they continue to do so, it will be a matter of time when they bounce with much better results.
They were better than the opponent, especially in the first halftime, while the second one was equally open, with the players of Stuttgart taking the lead in 53rd minute via Badstuber and keeping the clean sheet till the end, even having a penalty kick missed towards the end of the match. During the international break Mainz played away to Wurzburger Kicker and had a 2:2 draw with a lot of rotations in their squad. The side is one of three teams in Bundesliga without a point taken and a goal scored.
Mainz should be playing in 4-2-3-1 formation with Muto as central striker, plus Quaison, Maxim and Oztunali as offensive midfielders. Central defender Alexander Hack is injured, same as goalkeeper Jannik Huth, left back Gaetan Bussmann, midfielder Philipp Klement and forward Emil Berggreen, all without playing so far in the season anyway.
Leverkusen, on the other side, is also not enjoying the start of Bundesliga, but must be said that they had a very difficult schedule having to play on the road against Bayern Munich in the season opener when they suffered a 3:1 loss, but then welcomed Hoffenheim and stood to a 2:2 draw before the international break.
They had more of the ball possession and created more chances, but the players of Hoffenheim were dangerous on counters while it's obvious that Leverkusen needs to improve a bit in the defensive part of the game. Hosts took the lead with a penalty kick taken by Wendell in 32nd minute, while Kramaric leveled up the result just after the second half has started, with Bellarabi bringing hosts into the lead in 49th minute again, however Uth sealed the final result in 70th minute for a point to each team. Leverkusen welcomed Bochum during the international break and suffered 1:2 defeat with a lot of rotations in their squad.
Visitors are set to play in 4-4-2 formation, most likely with Volland and Havertz as strikers upfront. Central defender Jonathan Tah is doubtful for this one, while injured for this match remain right back (and sometimes central defender) Tin Jedvaj and forward Joel Pohjanpalo, both without playing so far in the season. Lars Bender is fit again to play.
- Mainz have seen over 2.5 goals in their last 4 home matches against Leverkusen.
Mainz need to improve in attack and are desperate to re-start the season with a positive outcome here. Leverkusen looked better so far, but with a lot of gaps in the defensive play. Overall, this game should be with plenty of goals and that will be my betting option for this one.