WE'RE delighted to welcome German Football expert Raphael Honigstein to the site for the new season thanks to our partner Unibet.

You may know Raph from his excellent work on BT Sport where he shares his knowledge of the European game and we're hoping he can make some of that know-how pay for us on MrFixitsTips. Best of luck Raphael!

Hertha Berlin v Mainz (Fri 7.30pm)

Whether it’s in the boardroom, on the pitch or in the stands, things have been far from rosy at Mainz this season.

No wonder then that coach Sandro Schwarz has talked of them hitting rock bottom when it came to the atmosphere around the club after the 4-2 defeat away to Hoffenheim last weekend saw them slip into the relegation playoff spot.

That the club is already on their second president of the season hasn’t helped things behind the scenes but with the fans dismayed at another poor performance, ironic chants against their team followed towards the end of the game at Hoffenheim.

The players then refused to come over to the fans at full time, as is traditional with every Bundesliga club, let alone at a club like Mainz where the team can’t afford not to have the fans onside.

Sixteen goals conceded in their six games so far in 2018 tells you enough about their defensive instability. That Abdou Diallo, their main defensive beacon this season, will miss the trip to Berlin through suspension is quite a blow.

Hertha on the other hand appear to have turned the corner with their surprise 2-0 win at Leverkusen last weekend. They were previously yet to register a win in the new year but that perhaps hadn’t reflected their overall performances. Such is Mainz’s predicament at present, they should be able to build on that at the Olympiastadion.

Raphael's Tips

  • Hertha 2, Mainz 1 (15-2, Unibet)
  • Kalou to score first (22-5, Unibet)
  • Hertha win (49-50, Unibet)

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Munich-born Raphael Honigstein writes about football for Germany’s biggest broadsheet, Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Guardian, ESPNFC and his tips appear here thanks to our football partner at MrFixitsTips, Unibet. They're making a big splash in the UK betting scene and if you join them today you can claim up to £30 in Welcome Bonuses when you deposit and place your first bet.

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