It’s not too long ago that many deemed the Bundesliga title race to be over but Borussia Dortmund have the chance to close the gap on leaders Bayern to just four points with eight games left to play. Marco Rose’s side are seven points back as things stand but have a game in hand over Bayern, with the fixture against Mainz postponed at the start of the month due to the hosts not having enough players.
The break actually worked for Dortmund as they returned to Bundesliga action on Sunday with a 1-0 win over Arminia Bielefeld, putting their Europa League exit behind them while also capitalising on Bayern’s mini slump. Bayern have drawn both of their past two games and won three of their past six, while Dortmund have won four from six, only dropping points in a draw against Augsburg and defeat to Bayer Leverkusen.
But Mainz will be looking to play the role of party poopers and Bayern helpers, as they try to end the campaign with some stability. The hosts currently sit 10th in the league, 11 points clear of the relegation zone but also 10 behind the final European spot (for a Europa Conference League play-off place). Mainz have been decent in the Bundesliga this season, winning 10 games but they have also lost 10, the true middle point of the table as only teams above them have won more and only teams below have lost more.
However, Mainz are in yo-yo form at the moment, trading wins with dropped points. The current run started with a 1-0 win over Bochum in mid-January which they followed up by losing to basement club Greuther Furth; a win over Hoffenheim was followed by a draw with Freiburg and a victory over Bayer Leverkusen preceded a defeat to Union Berlin. So should Dortmund be worried?
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Mainz vs Borussia Dortmund: Match Stats
Marco Reus is Mainz’s biggest worry when facing Dortmund but the German is ill and will not travel for this game, but that doesn’t mean the hosts are in the clear. Dortmund’s victory over Arminia Bielefeld at the weekend saw Erling Haaland return from injury and he’ll be looking to make his mark from the start. The Norwegian striker scored three goals in his past two Bundesliga starts and bagged a brace in Dortmund’s 3-1 win over Mainz back in October.
Dortmund have a pretty decent defensive record against Mainz that they will be looking to continue this week. BVB have conceded an average of just 0.9 goals per game against Mainz in the Bundesliga, fewer than any other team currently in the top flight (at least four games played). Of all teams Mainz have played at least 10 times in the Bundesliga, the 05ers only have a worse scoring record against Schalke (0.8).
16 October 2021 – Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Mainz – Bundesliga
16 May 2021 – Mainz 1-3 Borussia Dortmund – Bundesliga
16 January 2021 – Borussia Dortmund 1-1 Mainz – Bundesliga
17 June 2020 – Borussia Dortmund 0-2 Mainz – Bundesliga
14 December 2019 – Mainz 0-4 Borussia Dortmund – Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund are unbeaten in their past three games against Mainz since a 2-0 defeat in June 2020 and have won six of the past 10 meetings, losing just twice. Away from home, Dortmund haven’t lost to Mainz since September 2014 (six games), only having a longer current unbeaten streak against Wolfsburg (seven) among current Bundesliga clubs.