Bayern Munich will hope to kick off the month of March with a win as they welcome Mainz to the Allianz Arena on Wednesday.
Currently boasting an eight-point gap over second-placed Dortmund, Pep Guardiola’s men are in pole contention to make sure that the Bundesliga title remains in Munich for yet another term. After cruising to a comfortable win over Wolfsburg earlier this season courtesy of a five-goal show from Robert Lewandowski, die Roten had to work a bit harder against die Wölfe this past weekend. Nonetheless, they were able to get the job done, pick up another three points and their 20th victory of the season, whilst Manuel Neuer was able to record yet another clean sheet.
Up next on the menu for the Bavarian powerhouse will be a mouth-watering tie against Dortmund, so Guardiola will have to manage his squad effectively. Jerome Boateng, Javi Martinez, and Holger Badstuber are all still out injured, and Rafinha is still serving his suspension. Given that they have slowly been making their return to action after spending some time on the sidelines, both Franck Ribéry and Mario Götze could be given some game-time in order to help them get back to full match fitness. And, Mehdi Benatia, who made his return against Juventus is another who Guardiola may call on in order to rest David Alaba for “Der Klassiker” this weekend.
Meanwhile, Mainz will be arriving at the Allianz Arena full of confidence after recording an impressive 3-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen at the Coface Arena this past Sunday. As a result of the victory – which is their fourth in their past five games – die Nullfünfer have now climbed into a solid fifth place and a Europa League spot. Considering that they only arrived in German football’s top flight during the 2009/2010 season thus making this their seventh year in the Bundesliga, this indeed a notable achievement, and Martin Schmidt’s squad will be hoping to earn another positive result to try to overtake Borussia Moenchengladbach into a potential Champions League play-off berth.
However, they still have quite a lengthy injury lay-off list and will be facing a side that has not just beaten them in their past seven matches across all competitions but also has scored at least two goals in each one of those fixtures. In addition, Bayern Munich have lost just once all season – and that was away to Mochengladbach – meaning that Guardiola’s side are still undefeated at the Allianz Arena. As such, Mainz will hope their upcoming opponents will already be thinking ahead to some of their huge clashes ahead as they hope to record their first win against Bayern Munich since November 27, 2011. And the last time the visitors defeated Wednesday’s hosts at their home ground? One will have to go back nearly six years to September 25, 2010, when they powered past them 2-1.
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