Friday night, floodlights, football!


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On Friday evening (20:30 CEST), 1. FSV Mainz 05 welcome Hertha Berlin to the MEWA ARENA as matchday 7 of the Bundesliga gets underway. Five points currently separate Mainz, who are in sixth, from Hertha, who are 15th. Despite their most recent loss to Hoffenheim, the Zerofivers still boast an impressive start to the season, while the Berliners are in good form of their own. Hertha, under the stewardship of former Mainz player and coach Sandro Schwarz, have taken four points from the last two games, and have had a mixed start to the season, with just one point from their first four matches and being knocked out of the Pokal by Braunschweig. “They’re completely another team from the end of last season, you can already see that in their attacking play. They’ve got a lot of pace and individual quality. With Sandro as their coach and the squad they’ve got, you can see a big difference, but at the same time a very good structure in all of their games,” was the praise given by Bo Svensson on the Berlin side’s development at a press conference on Thursday.

A look at the opponent

The historic club from Berlin-Charlottenburg has had an eventful few years. After investor Lars Windhorst joined up for the 2019/20 season, the Berliners splashed out on many top players, which didn’t bring the immediate desired success. In 2020/21, in a season defined by a relegation battle, Hertha only managed to stay in the league on the penultimate matchday. Last year, they came even closer to being relegated, having to play Hamburg in the play-off, losing 1-0 at home, but coming back with a 2-0 win away in the second leg. After the close-run campaign, former Ultra and entrepreneur Kay Bernstein was elected as the club’s new president, and is expected to help steer Hertha back in a more successful direction.


Mainz are on the better side of the head-to-head record between the clubs. The Zerofivers have taken ten wins from the 28 games played between the sides, while eight have been won by Hertha. The remaining ten have been drawn. Mainz’s home record, however, is even better: FSV are unbeaten in their last seven at the MEWA arena against the Berlin-based side –  the last time tonight’s visitors took three points in Mainz was in February 2015.

Welcome back

Hertha coach Sandro Schwarz is returning to his former home. He was born in Mainz, played for the Zerofivers for many years and was first-team coach from summer 2017 to October 2019. He was previously an academy coach from 2013.

More familiar faces

Hertha have two more former Mainz men in their ranks in Jean-Paul Boëtius and Suat Serdar. Serdar came through the Mainz academy and left for Schalke 04 in 2018 after playing 45 times in the Bundesliga. Boëtius departed the Zerofivers this summer for the capital after four years.

Just like last year

Mainz have started with three wins, one draw and two defeats (10 points) – the same record as after six games last season.

Six games unbeaten

Mainz are unbeaten in their last six Bundesliga games against Hertha BSC, winning four times and drawing the other two.

1-0  on Friday evening

The last four Friday evening games in the Bundesliga have all ended 1-0. It was Augsburg who defeated Werder by that scoreline last Friday; previously, Gladbach, Freiburg and Dortmund were beneficiaries of that result.

Chances conceded, but not many goals conceded

Hertha’s opponents so far have had a total expected goals (xG) value of 12.1, but Sandro Schwarz’s side have only conceded eight, considerably fewer than the statistics would suggest they should have.

There are things bigger than football

After his absence from the game to be treated for serious health issues, Marco Richter is back on the football pitch, marking his return with a goal in each of his last two games, both scored off the bench. He is Hertha’s only goalscorer off the bench this season so far.


Friday night, floodlights, football!

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