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Preview: Hertha Berlin vs. Mainz 05 - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Bundesliga clash between Hertha Berlin and Mainz 05, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Hertha Berlin take on Mainz 05 in the Bundesliga on Tuesday, with the visitors desperately looking for a win as they look to move out of the relegation places in the table.

Hertha, meanwhile, have taken five points from their last three matches, with the top half now in their sights.


Match preview

Hertha Berlin's Peter Pekarik scores against Union Berlin in the Bundesliga on December 4, 2020© Reuters

After avoiding defeat at the unbeaten Bayer Leverkusen before dispatching city rivals Union Berlin last weekend, Hertha travelled to Borussia Monchengladbach with plenty of confidence of gaining a result on Saturday.

Bruno Labbadia's side took a surprise lead in the second half when midfielder Matteo Guendouzi, on loan from Arsenal, fired home just two minutes after the interval, but Swiss striker Breel Embolo levelled proceedings with 20 minutes remaining to see both sides leave Borussia Park with a share of the spoils with a 1-1 draw.

After losing five of their previous seven matches, Hertha now remain unbeaten from their last three fixtures, all against top-half opposition, which is exactly where Labbadia will be aiming for his side to finish this season.

A routine home win against struggling Mainz would give them a very good chance of ending matchday 12 there, with Eintracht Frankfurt just one point ahead in ninth.

Mainz 05's Jean-Philippe Mateta scores against Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga on June 27, 2020© Reuters

Mainz certainly have no top half ambitions, though, having spent the majority of the season in the automatic relegation places. Saturday's 1-0 defeat at home to FC Koln was a devastating blow to Jan-Moritz Lichte's hopes of guiding his team to survival.

A dour first half saw Mainz have most of the possession, but struggle to create chances for top goalscorer Jean-Phillipe Mateta to convert. Elvis Rexhbecaj opened the scoring for the visitors in the second half, with Lichte's side unable to capitalise on former Norwich City loanee Ondrej Duda's red card despite having around 15 minutes remaining to find an equaliser.

Having taken five points from their previous three matches, subsequent consecutive defeats to fellow strugglers Arminia Bielefeld and Koln has seen Mainz undo all of the positive steps they had taken from those prior positive results.

However, Lichte's side remain only two points behind Arminia, so recording an upset with a win at Hertha would see them move out of the automatic relegation zone.

Hertha Berlin Bundesliga form: DWLDWD

Mainz 05 Bundesliga form: LDWDLL


Team News

Hertha Berlin manager Bruno Labbadia pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Hertha remain without summer signing Jhon Cordoba, who sustained ligament damage in the win at Augsburg last month, with former AC Milan striker Krzysztof Piatek deputising in attack.

Santiago Ascacibar will also miss the visit of Mainz with a muscle injury, while Lucas Tousart will be hoping for a start having only come off the bench at Gladbach.

Mainz are without Phillipp Mwenie (muscle), Levin Oztunali (hamstring) and Adam Szalai (knee) for the trip to Berlin.

Lichte will surely restore Robin Quaison to the starting XI after last season's top goalscorer was surprisingly only on the substitutes' bench against Koln.

Hertha Berlin possible starting lineup:
Schwolow; Pekarik, Boyata, Torunarigha, Plattenhardt; Stark, Guendouzi; Lukebakio, Darida, Dilrosun; Piatek

Mainz 05 possible starting lineup:
Zentner; St Juste, Hack, Niakhate; Burkardt, Latza, Fernandes, Brosinski; Quaison, Boetius; Mateta


SM words green background

We say: Hertha Berlin 2-1 Mainz 05

We expect Mainz to battle hard after two hugely disappointing losses in recent weeks, but ultimately Hertha should have a little too much quality for their opponents.

The hosts have looked much tougher to beat in recent weeks; providing they continue to be fully concentrated throughout, Labbadia's side can earn only their second home win of the campaign so far.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting that both teams will score (BTTS - yes) in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.BTTS Yes:data


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Hertha Berlin's Peter Pekarik scores against Union Berlin in the Bundesliga on December 4, 2020
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Monday's key events


ATHLETICS
· There are no Brits in the women's 100m hurdles final, but Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, fresh from breaking the Olympic record in the semis, will hope to pip world record holder Kendra Harrison to gold (3.50am)
· The women's 5000m final also has no Team GB representation, but two-time world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya will be looking to add an Olympic gold to her list of honours (1.40pm)

SAILING
· The women's skiff 49er FX (6.33am) and men's skiff 49er (7.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races

FOOTBALL
· A place in the women's gold medal match is up for grabs, starting with an all-North American semi-final between United States and Canada (9am)
· Australia, who edged past Team GB's in a seven-goal quarter-final thriller, take on Sweden in the second semi-final (12pm)

CYCLING
· The track cycling schedule gets underway, with Team GB holding a particular interest in the team pursuit qualifying. Laura Kenny is part of the women's team (7.54am), while the men's team includes Ed Clancy (9.02am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· The Gadirova twins Jessica and Jennifer will both take part in the women's floor final as they look to add to their team bronze (9.57am)

WEIGHTLIFTING
· Newly-crowned European champion Emily Campbell flies the flag for Great Britain in the women's +87kg, but faces stiff competition for medals from China's Li Wenwen and New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard (11.50am)

HOCKEY
· The women's hockey quarter-finals begin, with Team GB last up against Spain (1pm)

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