Early season relegation six pointer
Two of the Bundesliga’s winless sides go head-to-head on Friday evening looking to gain a headstart and push up the table ahead of the rest of the division’s action. Union took four points off of Mainz in their first season back in the topflight last term and will look for a positive result against another side likely to be in their relegation battling mini league come the end of the campaign. After losing key performers in Sebastian Andersson and Neven Subotic that made their 2019/20 11th place finish possible, they have brought in some reasonable replacements however they will not compete to the same heights as last term. Mainz are hot and cold; on their day they can turn it on against anyone, but their base level of performance is lower than that of Union.
Ones to watch
Union have secured important signatures in attacking areas in that of Max Kruse and Taiwo Awoniyi, the latter of which spent 2019/20 on loan at Mainz, yet their main assets still lie in midfield areas. Captain fantastic Christopher Trimmel is one of the better wing backs in the league and provides excellent deliveries from set pieces which are one of the Iron Ones’ big strengths.
The second player to highlight is mercurial talent from central midfield Robert Andrich. In his second with the club after signing for £900k from Heidenheim, the former German youth international was a pivotal cog in the survival machine last season, popping up with eight direct goal involvements. He was sent off in the last head-to-head in the first half, but the hosts were still able to hang on for a 1-1 draw. Lining up against athletic midfielder Jean-Paul Boetius for Mainz, the pair’s duel will be an important battle in what is expected to be a close affair.
Robin Quaison is the ace in the pack for Mainz, the Sweden international was a player I saw leaving the club in the summer transfer window. But he remains at the Opel Arena after 15 direct goal involvements playing just off a central striker last term, he will be a handful expected to be deployed behind Jean-Philippe Mateta. The 23-year-old Frenchman flattered to deceive somewhat in 2019/20 after hitting 14 goals in 2018/19, he already has a goal and assist this campaign and is sure to cause problems with his pace and physicality.
It depends what Mainz shows up, Union are strong at home and should win unless we say the 05ers join the party. Union are more solid and dependable.