Bundesliga Preview: Can Mainz Tie History And Extend Lead at the Top?

01 October 2010

Mainz head coach Thomas Tuchel smiles during a press conference on Thursday. Mainz is surprisingly topping the Bundesliga table undefeated and faces TSG Hoffenheim on Saturday. (Credit Image: © DPA/ZUMApress.com)
I would like to take this moment to air my contempt of both GolTV and ESPN right now. There have only been two other times in the history of the Bundesliga that we have seen a team start the season 7-0-0, and neither network felt it was necessary to show potential history in the making. Sure, you can say I’m biased when it comes to Mainz, but all I’m saying is: when history can be made, you have to show it. Considering their opposition, it should be an open contest. If results go in Mainz’s favor this weekend, they could end up with a 5 point lead atop the table.

Friday 2:30 pm (Live on GolTV): Hannover 96 v St. Pauli. With Carsten Rothenbach injured and out for St. Pauli, the right of the park is completely exposed for Hannover to exploit. They should be able to do so with ease. Prediction: Hannover 2 St. Pauli 0.

Saturday 9:30 am
Borussia Monchengladbach v Wolfsburg:
Gladbach give up goals for fun, and with Wolfsburg getting back into the groove of things after their early season start, I think this will be a no contest. Prediction: Borussia Monchengladbach 0 Wolfsburg 2.

Hamburg v Kaiserslautern (Live on GolTV): Considering both teams lack of defending, this should be a very open affair. However, Kaiserslautern’s attack has faltered since starting the season so brightly. Hamburg’s got the experience to take advantage, and I expect them to do so here. Prediction: Hamburg 3 Kaiserslautern 1.

Mainz v Hoffenheim
: If you follow my twitter account, you know I have no problem in not hiding my love for Mainz. What has been amazing about them this season is they have defended brilliantly (save one moment of stupidity against Bayern Munich), and attacked with purpose. When teams throw wave after wave forward, Mainz has almost perfectly connected the dots in the counter attack. The other impressive thing about Mainz is they have been able to score in a variety of ways.
I hate to be so blunt about Hoffenheim, but it’s been the same old story with them. They love to attack, score goals in bunches, but their defending lets them down in critical situations. Against an in form Mainz side, away from home, I think that costs Hoffenhaim in the end. That’s right, the eternal pessimist when it comes to the clubs I support is actually going to predict Mainz starts the season 7-0-0. Prediction: Mainz 2 Hoffenheim 1.

Nurnberg v Schalke: Schalke have had more than their fair share of problems getting this season started. Their defending abandoned them at critical moments, and their attack failed miserably when having to come from behind. Nurnberg don’t have the greatest of attacks, but they have defended very well. All signs point to a draw here, but I think Schalke’s got just enough class, and confidence, to pull through. Prediction: Nurnberg 0 Schalke 1.

Freiburg v Koln: Koln keep losing strikers, with Sebastian Freis being the latest one who won’t be available. Considering Koln haven’t been hitting the back of the net already, I think Freiburg’s surprising start to this season continues with another win. Prediction: Freiburg 1 Koln 0.

Sunday 9:30 am (Live on ESPN3.com): Stuttgart v Eintracht Frankfurt. Make no mistakes about this one, it will be ugly. Stuttgart are a mess, and Eintracht Frankfurt have had their fair share of screw-ups that have cost them at least six points. I’m still sticking to my guns with regards to Stuttgart, though I would not be surprised if this game ended in a 1-1 draw. Prediction: Stuttgart 1 Eintracht Frankfurt 2.

Sunday 11:30 am
Bayer Leverkusen v Werder Bremen
: Both sides form coming out of European competition is weighing heavily on my mind. Bayer gave up six to Gladbach and drew 0-0 to Nurnberg in the following fixture after playing in the Europa League, while Bremen have lost to Hoffenheim and Mainz immediately after Champions League play. When it’s all said and done, I think a score draw is appropriate. Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen 1 Werder Bremen 1.

Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich (Live on ESPN3.com): Bayern Munich have not lost to Dortmund since 2007. However, since the loss of Ribery, Bayern Munich have looked an even worse mess. There is hope for Bayern Munich though, as Dortmund did not have a great European adventure. I think Bayern Munich pull off the same theft they did in their wins against Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim to steal another three points. Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 0 Bayern Munich 1.

What do you think will happen this weekend in the Bundesliga? Let us know in the comments below.

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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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