Mainz – Leverkusen Tip
On Saturday afternoon, it comes to the duel of opposites in the Bundesliga! While Mainz are carrying the red lantern with just one measly point in their luggage, Leverkusen are level on points with league leaders Bayern with 13 points on their account.
The fact that the Svensson team would start the new season so weakly was not foreseeable in view of the comparatively easy starting programme and the strong pre-season. Most experts expected a solid start, and after five matchdays the usually celebrated Svensson is already under heavy criticism.
As if that were not enough, they now have to face the team of the moment, Leverkusen. The Werkself is still unbeaten in 2023/2024 and convinces with ease.
Leverkusen is the place to be for anyone who wants to watch fast-paced football. Under Alonso, Bayer plays perhaps the most beautiful football in the club’s history and is also extremely successful.
Should Leipzig annoy Bayern in the top match and Leverkusen do their homework, Bayer would even take the lead in the standings. I explain the odds on Leverkusen’s fifth win in their sixth game in my Mainz Leverkusen tip.
The prediction of the betting companies?
Place 18 against place 2 – it is logical that the betting companies agree on the odds. The odds for a three-goal win for the Werkself are just above the 1.50 mark, while betting provider Bet-at-home offers the best conditions for an away win with 1.61 odds.
Should Mainz celebrate their first win of the season this weekend, the bookmakers will reward them handsomely. The bookmakers are offering tasty 5.00 odds for a surprise win for the visitors.
If we do not see a winner at the MEWA Arena after 90 minutes, the bookies promise 4.4 times the payout.
Analysis: Mainz vs Leverkusen
How much credit does Bo Svensson have left? The Swede is still hailed as a messiah in Mainz after he helped FSV out of an almost hopeless situation to stay in the relegation zone two years ago.
In each of the following two years, Mainz finished in single digits and became the secret favourites for the coveted European Cup places.
As time went by, Mainz’s success was increasingly taken for granted in Germany’s football landscape, and before the season, few would have considered the Red and Whites as candidates for relegation.
But like so many things in life, things turned out quite differently and Mainz were in for a nasty surprise. Although the standings are hardly meaningful at this point, FSV’s performances are certainly worrying.
Mainz’s negative development was already apparent on Matchday 1, when they went down 1:4 at Union Berlin. One week later, they picked up their first point in the derby against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Their worst performance of the season so far came on matchday 3, when they were beaten 4-0 by relegation candidates Bremen.
The recent defeats against Stuttgart (1:3) and Augsburg (1:2) have not exactly improved the mood. Against the Fuggerstädter, they were unable to make use of a 30-minute advantage, whereupon the Mainzers once again made the return journey without points.
There is no question that B04 are clear favourites at FSV, and quite rightly so. If even Leipzig and Bayern can’t beat the Werkself, then Mainz’s chances don’t look much better.
The bookies are equally unanimous when it comes to the number of goals. The odds of the over/under bets speak a clear language here. With manageable odds of 1.55, the bookies are relatively sure that we can expect at least three goals on Saturday.
I find the 1.90 odds from Bet365 interesting, in case Leverkusen’s top scorer Victor Boniface scores again on Saturday. The Nigerian scored six goals in his first five league games, 50% more than all Mainz players combined.
Flood of goals at FSV
Actually, Mainz always stood for strong and concentrated defensive work under Svensson. Currently, this is not the case, as they conceded 14 goals in the first five games. Only Darmstadt and Bochum conceded more.
Mainz have not kept a clean sheet in any of their last 13 Bundesliga games. No other team in the league has conceded at least one goal in more consecutive games than FSV.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, centre-back Hanche-Olsen was injured during the week. In addition, Silvan Widmer and Maxim Leitsch are missing from the home side’s back four.
Leverkusen are unstoppable
When I think of Leverkusen and Xabi Alonso, I can’t stop raving these days. Never before did the Werkself start a Bundesliga season stronger in terms of points!
Will they even be able to compete for the championship this season? Provided all the important players stay fit, I don’t think that’s out of the question.
In any case, the statistics speak for themselves: on average, Bayer scores more than three goals per game (17 goals in 5 games). In addition, Leverkusen have created the most big chances up to this point and have already scored five goals from standards, which is joint top with FC Bayern.
The direct duel showed that Bayer can keep up with the big FC Bayern at the moment. In Munich, B04 was even the stronger team for long stretches of the game.
Despite conceding so many goals, Mainz are not as bad at the back as one might think, as only Bayern and Leverkusen conceded fewer major chances than FSV. This season, the “carnival club” is struggling with the fact that its opponents are usually ice-cold in taking advantage of their few chances.
On the other hand, things are not much better going forward; no team has scored less often than Mainz at this point. As a reaction to the poor start to the season, Mainz signed Josuha Guilavogui and Anwar El Ghazi for free during the week.
El Ghazi is expected to breathe new life into Mainz’s often unimaginative attack, while Guilavogui is expected to stabilise the centre with his experience and tackling strength.
The hosts also clearly lose out in the direct comparison. Mainz have only beaten Leverkusen twelve times, while the Rhinelanders have won 18 times.
If Leverkusen have to travel to Mainz, the mood under the Bayer cross is usually boisterous. Of the 17 Bundesliga matches played in Mainz, Leverkusen have won nine. Only at Borussia from Mönchengladbach did they record more treys.
My Mainz Leverkusen tip:
The omens could hardly be clearer, anything other than an away win would be a surprise for me. However, I can’t imagine that Bo Svensson will have to pack his bags after another defeat, unless his team really goes down to defeat.
The main problem for Mainz, in my opinion, is their forward play. After they gave away a lead in Augsburg and lost in the end, they might also lack self-confidence.
The recent performances of Alonso’s team, however, have confirmed my assessment that Leverkusen’s wave of success is not a flash in the pan.
My Mainz Leverkusen prediction: Win Leverkusen!