At home against the “favourite opponents”
Facts and stats ahead of matchday 18
Mainz are taking on VfL Bochum on Saturday (28th January, 15:30 CET) for their first game of the second half of the season. Svensson is expecting a “difficult, intense and tight” match against the Ruhrpott outfit. Here are some interesting facts and stats ahead of the clash.
Remembrance day in German football
27th January marked the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Bundesliga clubs will use this weekend as an opportunity to remember the victims of National Socialism and to make a stand against any forms of discrimination and anti-semitism.
“Favourite opponents” Bochum
FSV have a better Bundesliga record against Bochum than they do against any other current Bundesliga team. Their only defeat to VfL came in the away leg last season.
Dream goals for ex-Mainzer
Former Zerofiver Gerrit Holtmann scored VfL’s opener in their 2-0 win over Mainz on matchday 2 last season. The ex-Mainzer Kevin Stöger also got on the scoresheet against his former club when the two sides met back in August.
Pierre Kunde Malong, another former Zerofiver, signed for Bochum in January. Maxim Leitsch, on the other hand, made the switch from Bochum to Mainz in the summer.
From Austria to the Bundesliga
The head coaches of both sides once managed FC Liefering. Bo Svensson was in charge from 2019-2021, whereas Thomas Letsch managed the Austrian outfit from 2015-2017.
Mainz win when Karim scores
Karim Onisiwo scored twice in the reverse fixture in August, which Mainz won 2-1. His other goals this season came against Augsburg and Köln and FSV went on to win both of those games. When Karim scores, the Zerofivers get the three points.
Room for improvement at the top of the pitch
FSV have only scored 21 goals so far which is below the Bundesliga average of 28. Bochum, however, have been even less potent in attack. VfL have only netted 17 times this campaign and only neighbours Schalke have scored on fewer occasions.
Set piece masters
Over a third of Mainz’s goals this season have come from set pieces. Svensson’s side have scored four goals from corners, one of which was Jae-Sung Lee’s against Dortmund last time out.
Six of Mainz’s goals this season have been headers and only two teams in the Bundesliga have scored more.
Differing fortunes in terms of penalties awarded
Whilst Mainz have had four attempts from the penalty spot so far this season, VfL Bochum are yet to be awarded a spot-kick. Saturday’s opponents, however, conceded 11 penalties in the first half of the season- a league high.
Lots of action in their own third
The overall expected goals (xG) value of Bochum's opponents this season is 36.1 - the highest in the Bundesliga.
Saved by the woodwork
VfL have benefitted from the goal frame more than other side this campaign. Their opponents have hit the woodwork on 15 occasions so far.
Patrick Ittrich is in charge of Saturday’s match with Sascha Thielert and Marcel Ungert as his assistants. Tobias Reichel is the fourth official.