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Bundesliga Matchday 15
Allianz Arena, Munich
  • 54' Kingsley Coman
  • 74' Jamal Musiala
FC Bayern Munich
2 : 1
(0:1)
1. FSV Mainz 05
  • 22' Karim Onisiwo
  • 54' Kingsley Coman
  • 74' Jamal Musiala
  • 22' Karim Onisiwo
Home game against Mainz 05

Ending the year on top 'in our own hands' - Bayern start final push of 2021

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Three games in seven days - and then spend the winter as league leaders! FC Bayern have a packed week of football ahead, at the end of which the defending champions aim to once again end the year at the top. It all kicks off on Saturday afternoon with the clash against 1. FSV Mainz 05 (live text and webradio commentary from 15:30 CET on fcbayern.com) at the Allianz Arena. Find out everything you need to know about the match in our preview.

Enjoy the best images from Bayern's final training session before the clash with Mainz in our gallery:

The situation for FC Bayern

The record champions have had an extremely successful week: On Wednesday, they wrapped up a perfect group stage in the Champions League against Barcelona and four days earlier they triumphed in the crunch match at Dortmund. The latter, however, would probably lose its significance if the men from Munich failed to follow it up with more success in the final push of the year. "We've come through it very well," Julian Nagelsmann said in his press conference on Friday, referring to the packed autumn fixture list. That performance must now be reaffirmed in the final games of 2021 in order to defend the four-point lead over nearest rivals Borussia Dortmund: "Of course we want to win the three games and at least maintain the cushion with the three victories. It's in our own hands, that's the goal for us."

Were the Bavarians to pick up all three points against Mainz, it would also be a special accomplishment for the 34-year-old coach, namely his 100th win in 199 Bundesliga games. "To be honest, I didn't know that at all, I thought I already had more," Nagelsmann said with a laugh and revealed with a wink that he would perhaps toast the achievement with a mulled wine if it were to happen: "It's a nice number, I'm pleased about that."

Team news, tactics and more: Watch the pre-match press conference with Julian Nagelsmann before the game against Mainz again (with English translation) here:

The opponents: 1. FSV Mainz 05

The fact that Mainz, currently in seventh place, have bid the relegation battle of the past season farewell and are now chasing a European spot clearly bears the signature of Bo Svensson. In the 34 Bundesliga games under the Dane - a complete season, in other words - the Zerofivers have racked up 54 points: only four teams in the top flight bettered that over the same period (1st place: FC Bayern with 79). Svensson's team refused to let the German record champions stop them in their last meeting at the end of April either, winning 2-1 at home. On Saturday, however, it's back to square one, as the FSV head coach is well aware: "It was nice back then, but now it's a new situation, a new game, the circumstances are a bit different," the 42-year-old remarked, and emphasised with a view to the game in Munich that "a lot of things have to come together for us to be successful there."

In the last clash on Matchday 31 of 2020/21, FC Bayern lost somewhat surprisingly 2-1 in Mainz and were forced to postpone their championship celebrations by a week.

Team news for Bayern vs. Mainz

Nagelsmann confirmed that Serge Gnabry, who has been struggling lately, "will be available again". Leon Goretzka, on the other hand, continues to have problems with his patella tendon and will also not feature for FCB against Mainz. "There's no point yet because he's not yet pain-free," explained the boss. Marcel Sabitzer (calf muscle injury) and Josip Stanišić (left thigh muscle tear) are also not yet ready to return to action. In addition, Joshua Kimmich and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting aren't yet fully fit after recovering from their coronavirus infections. "Following rehab, they'll make a gradual return and hopefully be back with the team for the Rückrunde," Nagelsmann confirmed. 

Joshua Kimmich will not feature for Bayern again in 2021 :

Mainz will probably be without Dominik Kohr (thigh tendon injury) and Jeremiah St. Juste (dislocated shoulder).

What the coaches say

Julian Nagelsmann: "They've developed well and taken a step forward under Bo. Mainz play very aggressive and straightforward football. They fully deserve to be in that position in the table. They haven't allowed an abundance of goal-scoring chances and haven't conceded many goals. There's a good balance at the club, that's why they're very solid. But I hope we'll be the better team again, get the three points and I'm looking forward to a very fiery encounter."

Bo Svensson (1. FSV Mainz 05 coach): "To compete with the best players and one of the best teams in the world is, at the end of the day, one of the reasons why we do this, why we train a lot, why we reflect a lot and invest a lot of time - to take away those very experiences and to test ourselves, to see where we stand in comparison to the very best. I feel our team is ready for this challenge."

If you'd like to know more about the game against Mainz, check out our facts and stats: