Koln had a really decent performance in the second part of the season before the break, as they earned five victories in eight rounds, which is pretty safe and away from the relegation zone. Currently, they are ten points above the play-out placed Dusseldorf.
This makes their situation is quite comfortable and the team actually can enjoy the rest of the season since their involvement in the European tickets battle doesn’t seem that realistic even though they are just five points behind Europa League placed Schalke.
At home, they do try a bit more offensive football, but resulting in more conceded goals as well, so an open game is expected here.
Central back Czichos (20/1) is out injured for this one. The hosts also have defensive midfielder Hauptmann and forward Jakobs as unfit and unready, but also without playing competitive football this season in Bundesliga.
After three starting defeats in the second part of Bundesliga, Mainz found their rhythm and looked better, so we could say that this long break definitely didn’t go in their favor. Just before the pause, they have won over Paderborn and took a point against Dusseldorf, which brought them now four points above play-out placed Dusseldorf.
Still, the situation is far away from a relaxed one, since they still have nine rounds to go nothing is decided yet. Away from home, they do score quite a number of goals, but the problem is that they concede even more.
The guests will miss striker Mateta (10/2) due to suspension, while injured remains goalkeeper Zentner (22/0). Defender Bell anyway remains long-term absentee without playing so far.
There’s no reason actually for Mainz not to try to surprise here and continue with more open style away from home, especially now when it’s played with no fans. Koln doesn’t lack effectivity either. If anything, the competitive motive of the guests promises an open game, while both teams do work much better in the offense than what their reliability at the back seems to be all season long.