After over a decade of Bundesliga dominance from Bayern Munich, BVB can finally topple Der Rekordmeister with one more win. Here’s our Borussia Dortmund vs Mainz prediction and preview.
Borussia Dortmund vs Mainz: Quick Stats
- Borussia Dortmund are given a 70.7% chance of winning the match by Opta’s supercomputer, and an 86.4% chance of securing the Bundesliga title.
- After beating Bayern Munich last month, Mainz have lost their four matches since, conceding at least three goals in each.
- Dortmund pair Sébastien Haller and Donyell Malan have eight goals each since Matchday 25, more than anyone else in the league.
When Borussia Dortmund beat Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-0 in April 2012 to seal a second Bundesliga title in two years, they would have been forgiven for thinking the good times might never end. Jürgen Klopp’s side had proven they were no one-season wonder by steaming to another title, not losing any games after Matchday six and finishing eight points ahead of Bayern in second.
Little did they know that would be it for a while, at least as far as league titles were concerned. They reached the UEFA Champions League final the following season but were beaten by, yes, Bayern, who would also go on to claim the next 10 Bundesliga titles.
It is somewhat appropriate that Dortmund have the chance to end that run on Saturday when they take on the team from whom they inherited Klopp all the way back in 2007 as they welcome ninth-placed Mainz.
For much of this season it didn’t feel like one where Dortmund would make any waves at the top. However, Bayern’s wobbles coupled with some excellent late-season form from Edin Terzić’s men sees them with a golden chance to lift the Meisterschale for the first time in 11 years.
Their form since the World Cup break has seen them amass 39 points in the second half of the Bundesliga season, their third best such tally in league history (47 in 2011-12 and 40 in 2015-16). Their 50 goals scored in the second half of a season is already a club record.
Dortmund were nine points behind then league leaders Bayern after 15 games. Since the introduction of three points for a win, only two league champions have ever made up that many points: Bayern in 2018-19 (also nine points after 15 games) and Wolfsburg in 2008-09 (11 points after eight games).
Dortmund have the benefit of home advantage on Saturday, which is key given their excellent record at Signal Iduna Park this season. They have 14 home wins, 43 home points and 53 home goals (level with Bayern). Should they win, they will set a new club record with 15 home wins and 46 points, while it would also be a 12th league home victory in a row, which would be a club record (previously set in 1994). Just two more goals will also see them break their club record for home goals in a season (54 in 1963-64).
Mainz have lost their last four games since beating Bayern in April but have only been defeated in two of their last five Bundesliga away games against Dortmund (W2, D1). In fact, since the start of the 2017-18 season, only Bayern have won more points against Dortmund than Mainz (seven, level with RB Leipzig and Werder Bremen).
Dortmund can win their ninth German championship, which would see them draw level with Nürnberg. Still well behind Bayern’s total of 32, which is relevant to Mats Hummels, who could become the first player in Bundesliga history to win at least three titles with two different clubs.
Hummels won four titles with Bayern and could become just the fourth player to win three with Dortmund after Stefan Reuter, Lars Ricken and the club’s current sporting director Sebastian Kehl.
The big question mark on team news surrounds Jude Bellingham, who missed last week’s 3-0 win at Augsburg with a knee injury.
Mainz 1-2 Borussia Dortmund: 25 January 2023 (Bundesliga)
It was a disastrous start for the visitors back in late January as Lee Jae-sung headed in an Edimilson Fernandes corner at the near post to put Mainz in front. Dortmund hit back right away though when new signing Julian Ryerson cut in from the right before hitting a shot from range with his left foot that deflected past Finn Dahmen in the Mainz goal.
With the score 1-1 after just four minutes, it looked like it could be a goal-fest, but we were made to wait until the 93rd minute before the net was bothered again.
Sébastien Haller had only made his Bundesliga debut for Dortmund a few days earlier against Augsburg following his treatment for cancer, and he came off the bench in Mainz to set up the winner. An out-swinging corner from Julian Brandt was nodded on by the big striker for an unmarked Giovanni Reyna to finish at the far post to give the visitors a dramatic win.
They will surely be hoping for a calmer three points on Saturday.
Previous Meeting Line-ups
Mainz: Finn Dahmen, Anthony Caci, Edimilson Fernandes, Andreas Hanche-Olsen, Aarón Martín, Lee Jae-sung, Leandro Barreiro, Aymen Barkok, Silvan Widmer (c), Marcus Ingvartsen, Karim Onisiwo. Used subs: Angelo Fulgini, Anton Stach, Alexander Hack, Ludovic Ajorque, Brajan Gruda
Borussia Dortmund: Gregor Kobel, Raphaël Guerreiro, Nico Schlotterbeck, Niklas Süle (c), Julian Ryerson, Salih Özcan, Emre Can, Donyell Malan, Julian Brandt, Karim Adeyemi, Youssoufa Moukoko. Used subs: Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, Sébastien Haller, Giovanni Reyna, Marius Wolf, Mats Hummels
The 4-2 defeat at Bayern on 1 April remains Dortmund’s only Bundesliga loss since the World Cup, and three wins in a row in their last three games – with 14 goals scored in the process – have put them in pole position to win the title.
Dortmund were the first team since Stuttgart in 2006-07 to move top of the table on one of the last two matchdays, with only five teams in the history of the Bundesliga letting top spot slip on the final day: Bayern (1970-71), Eintracht Frankfurt (1991-92), Werder Bremen (twice, 1985-86 and 1994-95) and Bayer Leverkusen (1999-2000).
When Mainz blew the title race wide open by beating Bayern 3-1 on 22 April, it made it 10 games without defeat for them (W6 D4). However, they have lost all four games since, conceding three goals in defeats to each of Wolfsburg, Schalke and Eintracht Frankfurt before losing 4-1 at home to Stuttgart last Sunday.
It is the first time Mainz have lost four games in a row under manager Bo Svensson, and the first time they have ever let in at least three goals in four consecutive top-flight matches.
Whatever the German equivalent for being ‘on the beach’ is, Mainz appear to have been there for a while, and Dortmund will be hopeful they stay for another 90 minutes.
Borussia Dortmund: Sébastien Haller
It was a horrible start for Haller after making his big move from Ajax, with his cancer diagnosis ruling him out of the entire first half of the campaign. However, he has returned to give his new team an extra push that may well have been the difference in the title race.
He might not exactly be his predecessor Erling Haaland when it comes to volume, but Haller has eight goals in his last nine games – no player has more since Matchday 25 (BVB teammate Donyell Malen also has eight).
Haller, Malen and Julian Brandt are Dortmund’s top scorers in the Bundesliga this season with nine goals each. If none of them score at least twice on Saturday but Dortmund still become champions, it will be the first time a team that has won the Bundesliga will have had a top scorer with fewer than 11 goals. Stefan Kuntz hit 11 for Kaiserslautern in 1990-91, while Adolfo Valencia and Mehmet Scholl scored 11 each for Bayern in 1993-94.
Mainz: Marcus Ingvartsen
While they might be potent goalscorers, Dortmund can be hurt at the other end as well. Their 42 goals conceded is more than any other side in the top four, while Mainz’s 52 goals scored is more than fourth-placed Union Berlin and fifth-placed Freiburg. It already equals their club record in the competition (also 52 in 2010-11 and 2013-14)
Their top scorer for the campaign is Marcus Ingvartsen with 10 goals, and he will have a bit more pressure on him to lead the way towards Dortmund’s goal with fellow forward Ludovic Ajorque suspended.
Ingvartsen has scored 10 from 36 shots and 8.6 expected goals (xG) and all of the Dane’s strikes have come from inside the penalty area, so Terzić’s men will have to keep a close eye on him.
Borussia Dortmund vs Mainz Prediction
Opta’s supercomputer certainly thinks they will be celebrating on the streets of Dortmund on Saturday, with the hosts judged to have a 70.7% chance of winning. Mainz have nothing to play for other than an outside chance of pipping Eintracht Frankfurt to eighth place, so we don’t give them much of a chance of doing Bayern a favour and upsetting their hungry opponents, with just a 10.8% of an away win.
A draw would also open up the door for Bayern though, and they will be pinning their hopes on the 18.5% chance of that happening.