Every game is must win. Every game is a final. Borussia Dortmund started April by losing to direct rivals Eintracht Frankfurt, leaving them seven points behind The Eagles, with a projected 16% chance of qualifying for the Champions League. Since that loss, however, BVB have gone on an incredible domestic run, winning five league games in a row, while also securing the club’s fifth DFB Pokal trophy. Edin Terzic’s men now control their own destiny and could potentially secure qualification with a win on Sunday.
Standing in our way is a Mainz team that has not lost since February and has already earned a club record 29 points during the Rückrunde. During that stretch they defeated Bayern Munich, and did BVB a big favor just last weekend by taking points off of Eintracht Frankfurt. Mainz’s new head coach Bo Svensson has organized the team’s pressing and set them up to make dangerous attacks down the wings. He coaches a well-settled side, playing consistently with three at the back with Jonathan Burkhardt and Karim Onisiwo leading the attack while Danny da Costa and Phillipp Mwene provide the danger on the wings.
— Mainz 05 English (@Mainz05en) May 9, 2021
Last weekend we were friends, but this week we shouldn’t expect any favors. Mainz was perhaps lucky to hold Dortmund to a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture shortly after coach Svensson took over the team, but it won’t require luck for them to give us a difficult game tomorrow. By the time the game is played on Sunday, it is likely that Mainz will be well-rested, safe from any risk of relegation, and in a positive mood. BVB, on the other hand, will have everything to play for and will need to regain focus quickly, after only two days of rest and celebration.
The 4-3-3 controlled the game perfectly in the first half against RBL, and should be the first choice against Mainz. Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho are unstoppable right now. But, with only two days to rest and at least one late night of celebration, it seems essential for Terzic to rest a few of the players who went the full 90 on Thursday. As much as it hurts me to suggest it, Lukas Piszczek and Marco Reus, while flawless in the week, may need to rest this game.
What do you think Terzic will do in this crucial match? How would you pick the team?