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Mainz v Wolfsburg (Fri 7.30pm)
As two of the Bundesliga’s bottom five meet, the momentum is seemingly with Mainz. That didn’t look possible before last Friday night, having suffered four straight defeats.
Yet two goals from Robin Quaison gave Mainz a comfortable win in the end in Berlin. They could have won by more too but it still leaves them in the relegation playoff place with 23 points.
Wolfsburg currently have just a point more than them but all is not well in Lower Saxony. This game should have seen coach Martin Schmidt return to his former club but on Monday, he resigned even if sporting director Olaf Rebbe said he wanted Schmidt to stay on.
That came after a last-minute defeat to Bayern Munich last weekend made it one win in their last nine Bundesliga games.
In steps a familiar face in Bundesliga coaching circles in the form of Bruno Labbadia, a year and a half after his last job at Hamburg.
“I don’t assume on Friday that everything will work already but I have told the team that they should be brave. Mistakes happen,” said Labbadia ahead of the trip south.
Labbadia’s appointment has made it harder for Mainz coach Sandro Schwarz to anticipate what he’ll face but Schwarz is helped by the return of defender Abdou Diallo from suspension.
Labbadia meanwhile is missing a host of first-team players which includes captain Maximilian Arnold being out suspended whilst John Anthony Brooks and Yannick Gerhardt remain unavailable due to injury.
A scrappy, low-scoring encounter is to be expected here.
- Mainz 1, Wolfsburg 1 (21-4, Unibet)
- Berggreen to score first (13-2, Unibet)
- Under 2.5 goals (37-50, Unibet)
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.