On Sunday, 14.08.2022, 1. FC Union Berlin will face 1. FSV Mainz 05. Kick-off is at 15:30. And when looking at the last two meetings between the sides Union will be deservedly optimistic.
1. FSV Mainz 05 started the new season with 14 new arrivals, convincingly winning their DFB Pokal match against Erzgebirge Aue 3:0. They then got off to a good start in the Bundesliga, beating VfL Bochum 2-1. In the 2021/22 season, Mainz came 8th, guaranteeing themselves a place in the Bundesliga for the 14th time in a row.
Bo Svensson wore the red of Mainz for seven years until his career ended in 2014. Now, the 43-year-old Dane is on the touchline as head coach. "I want the team to show what it is that sets us apart. [That they] bring intensity to the pitch and act as a team," he said ahead of Mainz's first Bundesliga match.
1. FSV Mainz 05 spent their training camp in Grassau on Lake Chiemsee to prepare for the 2022/23 season. They narrowly lost their first international warm-up against Besiktas Istanbul 1-0, but beat Newcastle United 1-0 in the next. Their third and last test match of this preparatory phase ended in a draw. The match against Athletic Club Bilbao finished 1-1.
Head to head comparison
Last season, 1. FC Union Berlin won both their Bundesliga encounters against Mainz, winning away 2-1, and triumphing at the Alte Försterei 3-1.
The overall balance between the sides is, however, more level. In twelve encounters, both clubs have five wins each, while playing out two draws. Mainz winning the lion’s share in the second division, while Union have been more successful in the Bundesliga.
Apart from Timo Baumgartl, who is still recovering from cancer, head coach Urs Fischer has the entire squad at his disposal.
The coach's views
Urs Fischer was cautious looking ahead to the game: "It will be very demanding for us. They've had a good start to the season, are a compact and strong squad, and aggressive without the ball, but their greatest weapon is on the break. You can see a lot of similarities to us in them."
Svensson was similarly circumspect: "There's not a lot of teams that enjoy playing against Union. It's hard against them, but that goes for every team in the league. But there's not so many who enjoy playing against us either."
Information for the 1,300 travelling fans can be read here . The match will be live (in Germany) on DAZN. As usual, Union will also provide live updates on the match in the club's own live ticker.