RB Leipzig vs FSV Mainz 05: Preview and Prediction

Relegation-threatened FSV Mainz 05 will hit the road to square up against RB Leipzig who are pushing for a top-four finish.

With the final international break of the 2023/24 season now over, it is time for the business end of the season. RB Leipzig, who are on a three-match winning streak in the league, will resume their campaign with a home game against a struggling FSV Mainz 05.

Leipzig are currently fifth on the points table with 49 points out of their 26 games. They have not been at their best but still have time to recover and earn a place in the top four. Getting knocked out from the Champions League was a big blow, but there is still a lot to play for.

Marco Rose’s men have won four out of their last five league games and are heading into this fixture on the back of a 5-1 win over FC Koln. It was a dominant performance by Leipzig, and they will be hoping for more of the same.

FSV Mainz 05 are currently 16th on the points table. They have only managed 18 points in their 26 matches and are six points off safety. The visitors have won two out of their last five games and will have to ensure they keep accumulating points in order to avoid the drop or playing in the relegation play-offs.

Before the international break, they managed to defeat VfL Bochum 2-0, it was a very important win for them as they took down the 15th-placed team narrowing the gap between them. Leipzig will be a much tougher opponent, getting anything out of this fixture is very tough. But they are expected to give it their all with a place in the German top flight at stack. Meanwhile, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams and tries to predict the tactics they could put to use.

Team News & Tactics

RB Leipzig

RB Leipzig do not really have any major issues following the international break. Their only concern is the fitness of Willi Orban, who has been struggling with a groin issue. Meanwhile, they will also be without Amadou Haidara, who is suspended following a booking in their last outing.

The home team do have a boost as Lukas Klostermann is back after a long absence because of a thigh injury. RB Leipzig will go ahead with the 4-4-2 formation, where Peter Gulacsi will be in goal. Benjamin Henrichs and David Raum will start as the full-backs. In the heart of the defence, they will have Lukas Klostermann pair up with Castello Lukeba.

Kevin Kampl will start alongside Xaver Schlager in the centre of the park. The duo will form a double pivot in front of the back line. Dani Olmo and Xavi Simons will feature out wide on the flanks. They will have the freedom to drift wide and cut inside depending on the match situation. In attack, the in-form Lois Openda will pair up with highly sought-after Benjamin Sesko.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Gulacsi; Henrichs, Klostermann, Lukeba, Raum; Dani Olmo, Kampl, Schlager, Simons; Openda, Sesko

FSV Mainz 05

The visitors will be without the services of Dominik Kohr, who has been suspended from this fixture following a booking in the previous outing. Meanwhile, Nadiem Amiri is back from illness, while Josuha Guilavogui has recovered from the concussion injury he picked up in the match against Bayern.

Their manager Bo Henriksen has confirmed that all their players who were on international duty are back and fit to feature here. The visitors will go ahead with the 3-4-2-1 formation, where Robin Zentner will be in goal. The back three will be made up of Edimilson Fernandes, Sepp van den Berg, and Andreas Hanche-Olsen.

They will look for a clean sheet against a star-studded attack and will have the support of Silvan Widmer and Anthony Caci who will feature as the wing-backs. In the centre of the park, Leandro Barreiro will pair up alongside Nadiem Amiri.

The duo will look to control the tempo of the game. Meanwhile, Lee Jae-sung and Jonathan Burkardt will feature in behind the striker as the two attacking midfielders. Ludovic Ajorque will be leading the line for them.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2-1): Zentner; Fernandes, Berg, Hanche-Olsen; Widmer, Barreiro, Amiri, Caci; Burkardt, Lee; Ajorque

Key Stats

  • RB Leipzig have won seven of the last 15 matches against FSV Mainz who have won five of those fixtures.
  • The visitors have only lost one out of their last six outings against Leipzig in the league.
  • Leipzig are on a three-match winning streak in the Bundesliga.
  • FSV Mainz are heading into this on the back of a 2-0 win over VfL Bochum. It was their third win of the season.
  • The visitors haven’t won on the road in their last 17 league outings.

Player to Watch

Xavi Simons

Embed from Getty Images

RB Leipzig might not have had the best of seasons. But Xavi Simons, who is on loan at the club from Paris Saint-Germain, has been in sensational touch for them. He has featured in 36 matches and has contributed towards 22 goals. The Dutch international has nine goals and 13 assists to his name.

He has been a standout performer for them. As they push for a top-four finish, the German club will hope that the former La Masia youth product keeps on performing at a similar level until the end of the season.


RB Leipzig 3-1 FSV Mainz

Leipzig have won each of their last three league games, and they will be quite confident heading into this fixture. They are going up against a team, who have only won thrice this season. Mainz might be coming into this one on the back of a win, but they do not really have the kind of quality Leipzig has in their ranks. The Hard Tackle predicts a 3-1 win for the German club.

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