Just one more time for the 2017/18 season! SV Werder Bremen take on Mainz 05 on matchday 34 of the Bundesliga. The Green-Whites already secured their status in Germany’s top flight two weeks ago. The Zerofivers also made sure they are safe from the drop last week thanks to a 2-1 away victory at Borussia Dortmund. Both teams can therefore play without any pressure when things get underway this Saturday at 15:30 CET. The Green-Whites will nevertheless look forward to their trip over to Mainz. Werder have managed to win their last three away fixtures, and hopefully the team will be able to continue that strong form on Saturday and finish the season in style.
Latest encounter: It looked for much of the reverse fixture as if SV Werder would take all three points. The Weser-Stadion was on its feet celebrating after just two minutes through an early strike from Philipp Bargfrede. It was 2-0 just 15 minutes later after Ishak Belfodil got his first goal in the Bundesliga. However, Mainz hit back after the break with a long ball to Quaison to pull one back and with just seconds to spare, Fabian Frei headed in to grab an injury-time equaliser. The result was much better on matchday 21 of last season, when a strong performance saw the Green-Whites run out 2-0 victors against Martin Schmidt’s side. Serge Gnabry gave Werder the lead in the 16th minute before a superb Thomas Delaney free-kick settled it.
Finish the season with success: Securing the club’s Bundesliga status? Already forgotten. It is no longer possible for Werder to move up a place in the table. However, Werder will under no circumstances be gifting this tie to Mainz. “We absolutely want to win this match and to finish the season strongly,” said Maximilian Eggestein after the 0-0 draw against Bayer Leverkusen last Saturday. Head coach Florian Kohfeldt also endorsed Eggestein’s sentiment at the pre-match press conference: “Especially after our last match, we deserve to be able to start the summer break with a positive feeling.” The strong development that the Green-Whites have undertaken since the Werder coach joined the club is expected to be furthered against the Zerofivers. “We want to take that with us into pre-season so that we can start the new season well,” said the Germany youth international.
Favourite opponent: Werder generally go into encounters with Mainz full of confidence: The Green-Whites have won seven of the last ten away trips to Mainz, making it their favourite Bundesliga away day destination. A 63.6 percent win percentage there speaks for itself – against no other team do Werder have such a positive ratio.
Bogey team: In the same respect, when Werder Bremen pay Mainz a visit, the ‘Zerofivers’ get a bad feeling. In front of their own fans, they’ve lost to Werder on seven occasions – only Bayern have been able to come away from the Rhineland-Palatinate capital with a win more times than the Green-Whites – twice more to be exact. Furthermore, Mainz have only conceded more goals against Bayern (62) than Werder (40). To top things off, Mainz suffered their to date heaviest Bundesliga defeat at the hands of Werder Bremen, when the boys from the Weser won 6-1 in 2006.
Florian Kohfeldt on the fixture: Both teams have secured their Bundesliga status for next season and can play with freedom. "I am pleased that both teams have avoided relegation already and aren’t playing for anything. The situation on the final matchday before the winter break was drastically different," said Florian Kohfeldt. Nevertheless, the Werder head coach has made the following clear: "We want to end the season with a good performance, which involves picking up points, so we’ll approach the game accordingly." Frank Baumann also sees no problems with regard to a lack of motivation due to the situation in the table: "We have a team that won’t want to gift the opposition anything – they’ll give their all one last time this season and expect a lot of themselves," said the managing director.