Written by Valdis Pans
After encountering a setback in their bid to win the Bundesliga this year following a draw against Freiburg last weekend, RB Leipzig will be hoping to get back on track while visiting Mainz, who sit just four points above the drop-zone. Kick-off - at 9:30 AM ET on Sunday, May 24.
Mainz Salvage A Point In Cologne
Last 30 minutes of the game proved crucial for Mainz, who netted twice to earn a 2-2 away draw against Cologne at RheinEnergieStadion on Sunday. Nigerian striker Taiwo Awoniyi, on loan to Mainz from Liverpool, scored his first-ever Bundesliga goal on his seventh attempt in the league just five minutes after coming on as a 56th-minute substitute to cut Cologne’s initial 2-0 lead in half before Cameroonian midfielder Pierre Kunde made it 2-2 with 12 minutes remaining. The Zero-Fivers have now extended their point streak to three games (W1 D2) and currently sit 15th in the league (W8 D3 L15), just four points above the bottom three.
Swedish-Ghanaian forward Robin Quaison leads Mainz with 12 goals, but has been off the scoresheet for the past two outings after notching a strike and an assist in a 2-0 home victory for the Zero-Fivers against Paderborn on Feb. 29. Goalie Florian Muller, meanwhile, sits 24th in the Bundesliga with 19 saves from five appearances, having conceded a total of 15 strikes thus far, giving up a goal every 27 minutes on average. Mainz are 9th in most goals scored this year (36), 8th in shots taken (13.5 per game), and 3rd from the bottom in both ball possession (44.8%) and passing accuracy (74.9%).
Leipzig Fail To Beat Freiburg
RB Leipzig lost ground in their race to catch up with the Top 2 of the Bundesliga after settling for an unexpected 1-1 home draw with Freiburg at Red Bull Arena on Saturday. The hosts outshot Die Breisgauer heavily (22-6 with eight shots on goal), but managed to find the back of the net just once, with Yussuf Poulsen heading home his fourth marker of the ongoing campaign after the visitors were already leading 1-0 following the first 45 minutes of the game. RB Leipzig have now dropped to the 4th place in the Bundesliga (W14 D9 L3), trailing Borussia Monchengladbach (3rd), Borussia Dortmund (2nd) and Bayern Munich (1st) by one, three and seven points respectively.
Despite having picked up just one goal in his last eight Bundesliga appearances, German striker Timo Werner still leads the team with 21 markers, ranking second only to Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski (26) in scoring in the league this season. Goalie Peter Gulacsi, meanwhile, occupies the 9th position in the league with 69 saves from 25 games, holding eight clean sheets to his name as well. He allows a goal every 90 minutes on average. RB Leipzig are 3rd in most goals scored (63), 2nd in shots registered (16.5 per game) and 4th in both ball possession (53.6%) and passing accuracy (82.2%).
A 1-1 draw against Freiburg on Saturday cost RB Leipzig precious two points, as the team gave up its 3rd position to Borussia Monchengladbach, dropping down to 4th itself, now trailing leaders Bayern Munich by seven points. The Red Bulls scored eight goals versus Mainz in Leipzig back in November and will in no way hold back in the following fixture, having already posted a W4 D2 L1 record against the Zero-Fivers historically. Mainz have been dreadful on own turf this term, managing to win just four of their 13 domestic contests this season (W4 D2 L7), netting on just 15 occasions.
RB Leipzig to win (-230)
Over 2.5 goals (-225)
‘No’ in Both Teams To Score market (+120)