FC Koln and Mainz 05 will both be looking to bounce back from Bundesliga defeats when they lock horns at the RheinEnergieStadion on Saturday afternoon.
The hosts have won only four of their last eight league fixtures on home soil, while the visitors have won only two of their last 15 matches on the road and they are yet to win an away game in 2022.
After securing four points from two games against Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund, Koln were beaten 1-0 away at Union Berlin last Friday.
Despite dominating proceedings with 64% possession, a 49th-minute strike from Taiwo Awoniyi was enough for the hosts to claim maximum points and condemn the visitors to their eighth league defeat of the season.
Nevertheless, Steffen Baumgart’s side remain in the hunt to qualify for Europe next season, as they currently sit eighth in the Bundesliga table, four points behind Hoffenheim in sixth and five points behind fifth-placed Freiburg.
Koln have failed to win three of their last five home matches, albeit against Bayern Munich, Hoffenheim and Dortmund, but they head into Saturday’s game having lost only one of their 10 home encounters with Mainz.
That defeat, however, was in April last season, with the 05ers securing a 3-2 win thanks to a 91st-minute winner from Leandro Martins.
Mainz 05 coach Bo Svensson on February 26, 2022© Reuters
Mainz’s hopes of securing European football for next season are seemingly all but over, as they have won only one of their last five Bundesliga matches, a run of form which has seen them slip out of the top half of the table.
A 1-1 draw away at Borussia Monchengladbach last weekend was followed by a 2-1 away defeat against Augsburg on Wednesday. Silvan Widmar’s 54th-minute strike cancelled out Jeffrey Gouweleeuw’s first-half opener from the penalty spot, but Ruben Vargas restored the host’s lead just two minutes later and they eventually held on for all three points.
Bo Svensson’s side have dropped down to 10th in the Bundesliga standings, six points behind the top six with only six league games remaining.
Mainz are now preparing for their third successive away fixture and they will be looking to end their nine-game winless run on the road, dating back to October 30 last year. Only Greuther Furth (two) have accumulated fewer points than Svensson’s men (eight) away from home this season.
The 05ers can, however, travel to the RheinEnergieStadion with confidence as they are unbeaten in each of their last three away trips to Koln, including last season’s 3-2 win and two score draws.