1. FSV Mainz 05 have put last weekend’s heavy defeat in Munich firmly behind them and are looking ahead to Saturday’s home game against VfL Wolfsburg (15:30 CET). The Wolves are currently unbeaten in their last six games, meaning Bo Svensson’s side can expect a tough challenge this weekend. “Of course we want to build on the performance against Köln. However, Wolfsburg are a team that are in good form at the minute,” said Svensson, who will have several options to choose from on the weekend.
The game against VfL marks the start of run of three league games within a week. On Wednesday, 9th November (20:30 CET) the Zerofivers will travel to face FC Schalke 04 before hosting Eintracht Frankfurt the following Sunday (15:30 CET). The league will then stop play in order to allow for an early winter break to accommodate the World Cup. “That gives us the opportunity to take a huge step forward, both in the table and in terms of our own development. We have nine points that are up for grabs,” said Svensson, who added that the team haven’t set a definite goal for themselves. “It’s about being confident in all areas. It’s important for us to go into the lengthy winter break with a positive feeling.”
A positive mood at the Bruchweg
The head coach reported that the mood within the team has been high this week. “I think the players have made a good impression this week.” Svensson will only be without Marlon Mustapha and Maxim Leitsch against VfL, and will otherwise have a full squad to choose from. It’s “a luxury, not a problem” said the Dane, adding “It’s a good position to be in with several games coming up, and it gives us more options.”
Svensson will have tough choices to make in attack, between an in-form Karim Onisiwo and a Jonny Burkardt who is eager to get back on the scoresheet after several injuries have kept him from playing. “Goals are important for a striker, that’s nothing new. He definitely needs to get one. But, phases like this are also good in order to help him improve. My faith and confidence in him hasn’t waned one bit. He’s done well in training and has been staying positive,” Svensson said. Another option will be Marcus Ingvartsen, who has scored in each of the last five games. “Marcus is in good form. When we break into the final third, then he’s the striker that’s able to find the right space and also has a good shot.”
Solid and the back and a lot of individual quality
“It comes down to a gut feeling, our impressions from training, the players’ current form, who fits best to our opponents and how we want to play,” he explained about the selection process. “These are the decision we make every week, across all positions.”
The Zerofivers will be searching for ways to break through a VfL team that are good at remaining compact. Last season, FSV were able to celebrate a 3-0 win in this fixture thanks to two early goals. “Wolfsburg look really solid right now. They have a lot of individual quality and have found a run of good form. That doesn’t make things any easier. Their focus is on our defence, on remaining compact. Nevertheless, they also play down the wings a lot and their full backs contribute to their attack and help set up goals,” Svensson said about Niko Kovac’s side. The match will also be a reunion with former Zerofiver Ridle Baku, who moved to Wolfsburg last year. FSV go into the game sitting in ninth with 18 points, ahead of Wolfsburg in 12th (14 points).