RB Leipzig will look to keep pace with Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich when they travel to struggling Mainz on Saturday at 2:30pm (UK time).
Julian Nagelsmann’s men are second in the table, just four points adrift of reigning champions Bayern after 17 games. They travel to a Mainz side level with Schalke at the bottom of the Bundesliga with just seven points so far.
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Where to watch Mainz vs RB Leipzig on TV:
- UK: N/A
- US: ESPN+
Scoreline prediction: Mainz 1-3 RB Leipzig
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Mainz vs RB Leipzig build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
A 70th-minute Emil Forsberg strike was enough to see Leipzig to a 1-0 victory over Union Berlin last time out, getting Nagelsmann’s side back on track after taking just one point from two games against Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg.
This weekend sees the Bundesliga’s top two take on the bottom two, so, with Bayern facing Schalke on Sunday, Leipzig know they must pick up all three points here to keep up the pressure on the defending champions.
Mainz, meanwhile, are in freefall at the moment, enduring a nine-game Bundesliga winless run, drawing three and losing six during that time.
Bo Svensson’s side are level with Schalke on seven points at the bottom of the table, already eight points behind the relegation playoff spot and 10 adrift of automatic safety
- Mainz (vs Wolfsburg): Zentner; Niakhate, Bell, Hack; Oztunali, Latza, Barreiro, Boetius, Mwene; Burkardt, Onisiwo.
- RB Leipzig (vs Union Berlin): Gulacsi; Klostermann, Upamecano, Halstenberg; Mukiele, Kampl, Sabitzer, Tasende; Olmo, Nkunku; Sorloth.
Mainz top goalscorer Jean-Philippe Mateta has departed for Crystal Palace on loan, dealing a huge blow to their survival hopes. Svensson will also be without Jeremiah St Juste, Daniel Brosinski and Pierre Kunde.
Konrad Laimer, Benjamin Henrichs and Ibrahima Konate are all out for Leipzig, while new arrival Dominik Szoboszlai is still recovering from an ankle injury and is not ready for his debut.
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Players to watch:
Mainz: Mateta is responsible for seven of Mainz’s 15 Bundesliga goals this season but with the Frenchman now moving to Crystal Palace, Svensson is going to have to rely on someone else to find the net. In the immediate future, that burden will fall upon Swedish forward, Robin Quaison. With two goals, Quaison is the only other player to score more than once other than Mateta this season — the fact that both have come from open play, inside the six-yard box shows there is the potential for him to take up something of a poacher’s role. What’s more, Quaison scored 13 Bundesliga goals last season, so if he can break his current nine-game drought (all competitions), you’d back him to start finding the net with more regularity.
RB Leipzig: Given his struggles in the Premier League, few could have predicted just how effective Angeliño would have been in the Bundesliga following his loan move from Manchester City. The 24-year-old has arguably been the best left-back in the German top-flight so far this season, scoring four goals, creating more chances (35) than any other Leipzig player and completing the second-highest number of final-third passes (172), while keeping things tight at the back with a team-high 21 interceptions. So well has Angeliño performed that those involved in recruitment at Leipzig are now at a loss as to why he hasn’t broken into the Spanish national team yet.
“Angeliño has produced excellent performances for quite some time, not only in the Bundesliga, but also in the Champions League. That is why we cannot understand why he has not been called up yet [by Spain],” sporting director Markus Krosche said recently.
General director Oliver Mintzlaff added: “Angeliño plays at a high and constant level, provides a number of goals and assists above the average and shows an absolute winning mentality. “We cannot understand why he has not been called up yet because he would be a great reinforcement for the Spanish [national] team.
Angeliño has dazzled with his free-kicks and high-energy performances down the left flank this season. You get the feeling that he merely needs to maintain his current level in order to force his way into Luis Enrique’s thinking.
Bundesliga 2020/21 recent form:
- Mainz: LDLLL
- RB Leipzig: WDLWW
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