Mainz 05 will be looking to return to winning ways when they host Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga on Friday.
Hertha, meanwhile, recorded a respectable 2-2 draw with Bayer Leverkusen last weekend.
In an otherwise dour first half away to Hoffenheim last weekend, Alexander Hack’s 41st-minute dismissal left Mainz in a world of trouble heading into the second half.
It did not take the hosts long to break the deadlock, with Andrej Kramaric’s 53rd-minute strike opening the floodgates, as Grischa Promel, Munas Dabbur and Pavel Kaderabek all got themselves on the scoresheet in a 4-1 drubbing.
Head coach Bo Svensson will at least have been pleased to see his side dig in and find a response through Dominik Kohr’s consolation goal, and given the circumstances he will have sympathy for a team who have very rarely let him down since taking over in January 2021.
After Mainz recently lost 3-0 at home to Leverkusen, they responded with an impressive 1-0 win away to Borussia Monchengladbach, so the 43-year-old will be demanding something similar on Friday against a Hertha side they will expect to finish above in the table this season.
That said, Hertha have made sizeable steps forward under their new coach Sandro Schwarz, who has helped guide his side to four points from their last two matches after a difficult start to life for him in Berlin.
Following their first win of the season away to Augsburg, Hertha ensured they did not leave their entertaining clash against Leverkusen empty-handed, although Schwarz would have been disappointed to see his team fail to hold on after Marco Richter’s 74th-minute strike had given them a 2-1 lead.
Kerem Demirbay and Suat Serdar had earlier exchanged blows in the opening stages of the second half, with Patrik Schick’s late leveller probably making for a fair result in the end.
With Richter back in the fold after recovering from testicular cancer surgery to score two goals in two games, Schwarz will be confident that his side can score the amount of goals required to make them upwardly mobile in the Bundesliga, having looked competitive but with little cutting edge during the early weeks of the campaign.
Mainz 05 Bundesliga form:
Hertha Berlin Bundesliga form:
We say: Mainz 05 1-1 Hertha Berlin
Hertha have proven much tougher to beat during the early stages of Schwarz’s reign, and we expect that to continue on Friday night.
Mainz are likely to be missing a couple of key players at both ends of the pitch, which the visitors can take advantage of by extending their unbeaten run.