1. FSV Mainz 05 travel to face Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Carnival Sunday at 19:30 CET. The two teams also met during Germany’s unofficial ‘fifth’ season last year, with the Zerofivers winning 3-2 in what was a memorable evening at the MEWA ARENA. FSV also faced the Werkself during Carnival in 2016/17 and 2013/14, with these matches also ending in wins for FSV. A 2-2 draw at the BayArena on Carnival Sunday in 2021, after two late goals for Mainz, is another memorable result from this fixture. Carnival fixtures seem to be a good omen for the Zerofivers, as they look to add three more points to their tally this weekend.
Support from the fans
Over 1,000 Mainz fans will travel to Sunday’s game. The ticket office at the BayArena will open two hours ahead of kick off.
Solid start to the second half of the season
The Zerofivers have won two of their three matches so far in the second half of the season, taking them to 26 points this term. Bo Svensson’s side were just one point better off at this stage last season.
Leverkusen on a good run
The Werkself are in second in a table representing the last eight matchdays, picking up 18 points and six wins in this period – as many as Bayern and Dortmund.
Bad memories from earlier this season
Mainz were handed their first defeat this season in a 3-0 defeat to Leverkusen earlier this season, while they were the first points the Werkself picked up this season.
Differing styles of play
The Zerofivers look to play lots of crosses into the box, and have scored seven headers this season already as a result. Leverkusen have played the second fewest crosses of any side in the league, while only Eintracht Frankfurt have taken fewer headed shots.
Bayer 04 look to counter
Leverkusen are a serious threat on the counter, having scored five goals in this manner this season – the third most in the league. FSV have scored two goals from counterattacks in 2022/23.
Differing levels of possession
Leverkusen are averaging 50% possession this season, compared to 45.7% for the Zerofivers. The Werkself have also played more than 2,000 passes more than FSV.
50/50 in terms of clear-cut chances
Both teams have converted 50% of their clear-cut chances this season – the joint sixth-best rate in the league. Frankfurt (54.8%) average the most possession in the Bundesliga, while Dortmund are bottom of this ranking (38.6%).
Bayer 04 have scored three goals from free kicks this season, and only two teams have netted more often in this manner. FSV have scored four goals from corners in 2022/23, the fourth-most in the league.
Similar defensive records
Both teams have conceded 32 goals this season, and are in mid-table in this ranking. Xabi Alonso’s side have scored 33 goals this season, three more than FSV.
Referee Robert Schröder will take charge of the match, with Guideo Kleve and Christof Günsch as his linesmen. Daniel Schlager will be the fourth official. Christian Dingert and Markus Wollenweber will be on as the video assistant referees.