Fight for existence in the Bundesliga: Mainz Marathon in triple stride

Ein an important game? Certainly. When FSV Mainz 05 plays against 1. FC Cologne this Sunday (17:30 live on FAZ in the Bundesliga and on DAZN), it will be about league points for both teams. Rheinhessen are second to last in the table with eight points, while the Rhinelanders are two ahead and one point ahead.

However, for Jan Siewert this does not mean that victory is an obligation. “Logically we want to win,” says the Mainz coach, who will remain in his post at least until the winter holidays. “But I wouldn’t artificially inflate that number, we still have a lot of points to win.”

Not smart enough

Given his team’s precarious position, all previous games under his auspices had been six-point games. Overall, Mainz picked up five points against RB Leipzig, Darmstadt and Hoffenheim, as well as Freiburg. Two more than before in nine matchdays under Bo Svensson, but not enough to give them any respite from the relegation battle. “This,” says Sievert, “is the marathon I described.”

Mainz could have been several meters ahead if they had translated their vastly improved style of play into vastly improved results in their last two meetings. The 1-1 draw at Hoffenheim was unsatisfactory in terms of game share and goal chances, and the 1-0 defeat at Freiburg was no less; Aside from the inattention leading up to the goal, the 05ers weren’t smart enough in finishing situations.

“Last situations” because too often promising attacks did not lead to any conclusions at all – a flaw that had already been noticed in Kraichgau. Siewert was also critical of decision-making problems in and around the opposition penalty area.

They can be corrected by putting players in appropriate situations more often during practice – “it’s like a good pianist who has to play the keyboard over and over again to get into the routine.” However, worse than not taking advantage of opportunities is not developing them at all.

Essentially, the content of the training is aimed at strengthening your own style of playing football, but you will have to make adjustments depending on the opponent. Sievert: “We always work with our opponent in mind.”

Whether Robin Zentner will be able to take part again on Sunday will be decided as soon as possible. The goalkeeper had to miss the game last weekend with a finger bone injury, but instead Daniel Batz made his second Bundesliga appearance in over eleven years. Winger Kareem Onisiwo, who just returned to the team after a foot injury, was sidelined this week with a flu-like infection.

Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine

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