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Mainz v Schalke (Sat 7.30pm)
Regardless of whether Mainz’s first choice goalkeeper Rene Adler recovers from flu in time, he won’t be in goal against Schalke. Coach Sandro Schwarz explained to Adler that he’s not got the necessary rhythm from playing that he’d want from him in the past few weeks. More to the point though, his 20-year-old replacement, Florian Müller shone on debut at Hamburg last weekend.
“The team made it easy for me,” said the third-choice goalkeeper. You have to assume he meant off the pitch because he was forced into a string of stunning stops including a penalty save, to ensure Mainz didn’t fall to defeat in a relegation six-pointer.
They didn’t offer much going forward but Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco was respectful of the threat they pose. “It’s a team that is aggressive in a positive way, has a great deal of heart and a very good coach that always prepares his team very well. They’ve got a quick striker in [Robin] Quaison for instance, a big striker in [Emil] Berggreen who they use as a target man…a team which is very strong amongst other things when it comes to second balls.”
As for Schalke, they didn’t exactly sparkle against Hertha, riding their luck at certain moments but they got the job done pushing them up to second in the table. Striker Guido Burgstaller is back from suspension for Schalke but whether Leon Goretzka will be fit enough to start is questionable.
The team going into the Bundesliga weekend in second place has only won on one of the previous 14 matchdays but Schalke should improve that particular statistic in Mainz.
- Mainz 1, Schalke 2 (8-1, Unibet)
- Burgstaller to score first (23-5, Unibet)
- Schalke win (28-25, 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.