Our football expert, Ryan Elliot, has previewed the matchup between Mainz and RB Leipzig, he has one tip for the fixture.
One moment, you can be a very strong outside punt for the Bundesliga, and the next, you’re pretty much out of the race.
This is the unfortunate situation at RB Leipzig, whose slip-up against Freiburg last weekend saw their odds for league glory balloon from 10/1 to 25/1, and it’s now very difficult to see how Julian Nagelsmann’s side overturn the seven-point gap between themselves and leaders Bayern.
There’s still pressure on Leipzig to secure a top four finish, with Bayer Leverkusen looking in outstanding nick just one point behind them in 5th, so any more stutters will undoubtedly be punished.
Mainz are also under a lot of pressure, and their four point advantage over Fortuna Dusseldorf in the relegation play-off is far from a sufficient safety net.
However, Achim Beierlorzer will have been delighted with how his side reacted to going 2-0 down at Koln last Sunday. The visitors were fairly atrocious up until the hour mark, but their resurgence to pull two goals back—and then find themselves very unlucky not to go on and win it—shows the side don’t lack mettle.
In previous meetings between these two, we’ve seen goals. In their last seven league meetings, we’ve seen a total of 35 goals—with Leipzig winning four times—and judging by how Mainz attacked and defended against Koln, I’d be surprised if we didn’t see a few more fly in.
Mainz’s home advantage is significantly diminished due to the absence of fans, and while Leipzig will be disappointed with the Freiburg result, I’m still confident they have the tools to beat Mainz on Sunday, particularly with 90 minutes under their belt.
However, for added value, I’m looking at a Leipzig win and both teams to score.
Both teams have scored in 65% of Leipzig’s games—the joint-second highest in the league—while Mainz have seen both teams score in 62% of their encounters this campaign.
12-goal Robin Quaison is a genuine threat for Mainz, and their best opportunity to find a way past Peter Gulacsi, while Leipzig’s embarrassment of attacking riches shouldn’t have too much trouble breaching the second-worst defence in the league.