Mainz are playing in Europe for the first time since 2005 and an opening stalemate looks likely.
Mainz v St Etienne – Thursday 18:00, BT Sport Extra
This is one of the few games on Thursday’s stacked card between two teams in Europe’s elite leagues.
Mainz are playing in their first European tournament since 2005 as they’ve fallen at the qualification stage a couple of times in the last decade. They finished sixth in the Bundesliga last year losing just five games at home but they could be tired coming in here after their crazy game on Sunday.
Mainz were hosting Hoffenheim in the league and were 4-1 up at the 70 minute mark but somehow the visitors came back to snatch a point. That was the eighth time in their last 10 league games that both teams have netted so St Etienne will be confident of breaching this defence.
The French side were knocked out in the Last 32 of this competition by Basel on away goals last season after they came through a group containing Lazio, Rosenborg and Dnipro. This is their third successive Europa League campaign and their away form has been decent as they’ve lost just twice on the road in the group stage. St Etienne are unbeaten in five games in all competitions including an impressive draw at champions PSG on Friday night. Their matches tend to be a lot quieter than their opponents and, if it was offered, they’d certainly take a point here.