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Anticipation ahead of “the toughest game of the season”

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This weekend, 1. FSV Mainz 05 travel to Munich, as Bo Svensson’s take on FC Bayern München this Saturday (15:30 CEST). Svensson reports that it is a privilege to be able to play against one of the best teams in the world, but his side will have to go into the game displaying all of their qualities, “give it everything and bring our own game to the pitch, even when the going gets tough”, was the FSV head coach’s view as he previewed the upcoming task against the record champions.

Play their own game at the highest level

“Everyone can see how Bayern are playing at the moment. It’s clearly better than a month ago,” opined Svensson on this weekend’s hosts’ good form. “The key, I believe is to look at ourselves. Place the focus on what we want to show ourselves,” added Svensson, who is excited about the upcoming game, even though – or indeed because – it is “the toughest of the 34 games in the season.”

“When you’re going against these top players, it’s tougher to win duels, make chances in front of goal and to defend them. Everything is more difficult and there’s less room for error. You have to play your own game at the highest level in every area, but that’s the beauty of this job,” continued Svensson.  Therefore, the anticipation for this game certainly outweighs any fear of heading to the Allianz Arena.

You have to play your own game at the highest level in every area, but that’s the beauty of this job

Svensson’s experiences with Bayern and Choupo-Moting

The Zerofivers’ coach expects that the upcoming away fixture will thoroughly examine his side’s credentials in all aspects. “You can then see if you can keep up in every position and as a team. That will be tough, but we know that if you don’t look forward to a game like this, you’re in the wrong job,” Svensson commented with optimism ahead of the game.  Perhaps it is this very attitude that has contributed to Mainz coach’s excellent record against Bayern so far – his record against the Bavarians looks good as both a player and a coach, having lost just three of nine games and having won five times. “I don’t know how I personally have such a good record against Bayern. I would love to give you an answer, but I don’t have one,” Svensson told the media with a chuckle.

If you don’t look forward to a game like this, you’re in the wrong job

Just as the Dane was unable to explain his impressive personal record against Bayern, he believes that he won’t be able to use his time spent working with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to help his defenders. The pair played 22 games together for Mainz between 2011 and 2014, and will be facing each other this Saturday. Choupo-Moting is a different player altogether to the profile he was at Mainz: “He’s now more than simply a poacher,” explained Svensson about his former teammate, who is on a good run of form, having scored in his last two Bundesliga matches as well as most recent DFB-Pokal and Champions League outings. But for all of the goal threat that the Cameroonian offers, you can’t forget the quality that the rest of the Bayern attack has on offer. “When you overly focus on one player, you leave space open for others. So we’ve got to defend as a team – that will be our task,” explained the coach.

When you overly focus on one player, you leave space open for others. So we’ve got to defend as a team – that will be our task

Svensson kept tight-lipped on how Mainz will go about attacking themselves this Saturday. He praised the “power” and engagement offered by Jonny Burkardt, but also explained that the U21 international has positive competition with Karim Onisiwo and Marcus Ingvartsen for the various forward roles they can each play. “I am happy that we have options and we will see who is best suited for Saturday,” said Svensson, leaving all options open.

Svensson and Choupo-Moting celebrating together.

A mix between calculation and gut feeling

In the last few games, another solution has emerged – a back three with Anthony Caci and Edimilson Fernandes as the outside center-backs, something that wasn’t necessarily in Svensson’s mind at the start of the season. As for whether or not using these players in these different positions – in terms of the size of the Mainz squad – was planned in advanced or indeed was a gut feeling, the 43-year-old answered: “It’s a mix of both. Caci we knew that he can play as a centre-back, as he often plays a full-back. As for Fernandes, his role in the centre of defence came from a good impression I got during the Freiburg game, so it was more of a coincidence.”

The squad size is also something of a “calculated risk” as Svensson didn’t want to increase the size of the team right before the season got underway. “You always hear about the disadvantages of having a small squad, but there also advantages. Everyone feels valuable and plays an important role. It brings the players closer together and helps develop a better team feeling. That is key for me in Mainz,” the Dane explained.

Da Costa likely out

Bo Svensson, who is already without the services of Maxim Leitsch and Marlon Mustapha this weekend, will also presumably be unable to call on Danny da Costa who is ill. He will therefore most likely not travel to Munich. Delano Burgzorg, who was suspended last week, has trained well once again and is contention for the squad.

This weekend, 1. FSV Mainz 05 travel to Munich, as Bo Svensson’s take on FC Bayern München this Saturday (15:30 CEST). Svensson reports that it is a privilege to be able to play against one of the best teams in the world, but his side will have to go into the game displaying all of their qualities, “give it everything and bring our own game to the pitch, even when the going gets tough”, was the FSV head coach’s view as he previewed the upcoming task against the record champions.

Play their own game at the highest level

“Everyone can see how Bayern are playing at the moment. It’s clearly better than a month ago,” opined Svensson on this weekend’s hosts’ good form. “The key, I believe is to look at ourselves. Place the focus on what we want to show ourselves,” added Svensson, who is excited about the upcoming game, even though – or indeed because – it is “the toughest of the 34 games in the season.”

“When you’re going against these top players, it’s tougher to win duels, make chances in front of goal and to defend them. Everything is more difficult and there’s less room for error. You have to play your own game at the highest level in every area, but that’s the beauty of this job,” continued Svensson.  Therefore, the anticipation for this game certainly outweighs any fear of heading to the Allianz Arena.

You have to play your own game at the highest level in every area, but that’s the beauty of this job

Svensson’s experiences with Bayern and Choupo-Moting

The Zerofivers’ coach expects that the upcoming away fixture will thoroughly examine his side’s credentials in all aspects. “You can then see if you can keep up in every position and as a team. That will be tough, but we know that if you don’t look forward to a game like this, you’re in the wrong job,” Svensson commented with optimism ahead of the game.  Perhaps it is this very attitude that has contributed to Mainz coach’s excellent record against Bayern so far – his record against the Bavarians looks good as both a player and a coach, having lost just three of nine games and having won five times. “I don’t know how I personally have such a good record against Bayern. I would love to give you an answer, but I don’t have one,” Svensson told the media with a chuckle.

If you don’t look forward to a game like this, you’re in the wrong job

Just as the Dane was unable to explain his impressive personal record against Bayern, he believes that he won’t be able to use his time spent working with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to help his defenders. The pair played 22 games together for Mainz between 2011 and 2014, and will be facing each other this Saturday. Choupo-Moting is a different player altogether to the profile he was at Mainz: “He’s now more than simply a poacher,” explained Svensson about his former teammate, who is on a good run of form, having scored in his last two Bundesliga matches as well as most recent DFB-Pokal and Champions League outings. But for all of the goal threat that the Cameroonian offers, you can’t forget the quality that the rest of the Bayern attack has on offer. “When you overly focus on one player, you leave space open for others. So we’ve got to defend as a team – that will be our task,” explained the coach.

When you overly focus on one player, you leave space open for others. So we’ve got to defend as a team – that will be our task

Svensson kept tight-lipped on how Mainz will go about attacking themselves this Saturday. He praised the “power” and engagement offered by Jonny Burkardt, but also explained that the U21 international has positive competition with Karim Onisiwo and Marcus Ingvartsen for the various forward roles they can each play. “I am happy that we have options and we will see who is best suited for Saturday,” said Svensson, leaving all options open.

A mix between calculation and gut feeling

In the last few games, another solution has emerged – a back three with Anthony Caci and Edimilson Fernandes as the outside center-backs, something that wasn’t necessarily in Svensson’s mind at the start of the season. As for whether or not using these players in these different positions – in terms of the size of the Mainz squad – was planned in advanced or indeed was a gut feeling, the 43-year-old answered: “It’s a mix of both. Caci we knew that he can play as a centre-back, as he often plays a full-back. As for Fernandes, his role in the centre of defence came from a good impression I got during the Freiburg game, so it was more of a coincidence.”

The squad size is also something of a “calculated risk” as Svensson didn’t want to increase the size of the team right before the season got underway. “You always hear about the disadvantages of having a small squad, but there also advantages. Everyone feels valuable and plays an important role. It brings the players closer together and helps develop a better team feeling. That is key for me in Mainz,” the Dane explained.

Da Costa likely out

Bo Svensson, who is already without the services of Maxim Leitsch and Marlon Mustapha this weekend, will also presumably be unable to call on Danny da Costa who is ill. He will therefore most likely not travel to Munich. Delano Burgzorg, who was suspended last week, has trained well once again and is contention for the squad.

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Anticipation ahead of “the toughest game of the season”

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