Although both teams are going in different directions, in different spots of the table, and in different statures in Europe, they share a common goal.
Both are coming off draws, and both need a win for validation.
FC Bayern München needs validation not that they are the top team in the Bundesliga, for they are at the top of the table with six wins and two draws. They need validation that they are the best team in Germany, that a 1-1 draw against Bayer Leverkusen was not a pattern.
After a hot start, 1. FSV Mainz 05 may not need just validation that they are a mid-table side, but maybe that they belong in the Bundesliga. Their three wins to start the season are the only ones they have, and their schedule does not get much easier after FC Bayern either.
With players validating their countries, FC Bayern will have the opportunity to validate with a convincing win, and a loss is not something that Mainz wants to convince itself is inevitable.
The Match (17th meeting)
Location: Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
Time converter at worldtimebuddy.com
Television and Streaming: Gol TV (USA), Sky Bundesliga 1 & 2 | HD, Other Countries
FC Bayern: DWWWW
1. FSV Mainz 05: DLLLL
Bundesliga: 9 W, 2 D, 3 L
DFB Pokal: 2 W, 0 L
1. Roy Makaay, FCB – 7
2. Claudio Pizarro, FCB – 5
3. Mario Mandžukić, FCB; Bastian Schweinsteiger, FCB; Daniel van Buyten, FCB – 3
Largest Victory: 4-0 (December 16, 2006)
Largest Defeat: 2-3 (November 27, 2011)
A draw against Bayer 04 Leverkusen has FC Bayern in a bad spot; not necessarily because of the result, but because they showed that they are not invincible. A home fixture is just what they need before their Champions League match against Viktoria Plzen
Xherdan Shaqiri's injury has once again become more good news for Guardiola than bad news. With Mario Götze rediscovering his form, he is now the primary option off the bench, able to play in the middle or on the wing.
Javier Martinez and Thiago Alcantara are still unavailable, so the center of the park will likely feature two of Thomas Müller, Toni Kroos, and Bastian Schweinsteiger. With a lack of depth, Philipp Lahm probably will start in midfield as well, as Rafinha will make another appearance at right back.
Mario Mandžukić will likely also play, although Guardiola might also give Pizarro another start with the midweek match. With the long travel, Dante might sit the weekend match out, giving Daniel van Buyten a start after his performance against Wales.
Probable Lineup (4-1-4-1)
Alaba – van Buyten – Boateng – Rafinha
Bench: Starke, Contento, Dante, Kirchhoff, Müller, Götze, Pizarro
A team that started very fast has hit hurdle after hurdle, and now have slumped back into mediocrity. Facing the top team in the Bundesliga does not come at a good time.
Shinji Okazaki's performance thus far is more of a plus for VfB Stuttgart than it is for 1. FSV, not really doing much in his two months with his new team. The mere bright spot is Nikolai Müller who is dealing with a bit of a knock with himself.
The revelation has been 26-year-old Nicolai Müller. Scoring goals – six goals in the Bundesliga thus far – is not the surprise, but doing so as a part-time winger is interesting. He's been playing partially on the right in a 4-5-1, with Dani Schahin and Maxim Choupo-Moting playing as the single striker when he does not. He does remain questionable with a tendon issue.
While the back four has stayed consistent – Joo-Ho Park, Nikolce Noveski, Bo Svensson, and Zdenek Pospěch have each appeared at least seven of the eight games – manager Thomas Tuchel might shake things up a little bit. 22-year-old Stefan Bell might make an appearance, as he's made a start in Svensson's stead before.
Tuchel will also have to be without Heinz Müller, who is officially ruled out with back problems. That means 33-year-old Christian Wetklo will be between the pipes, and Loris Karius will be on hand if needed.
Probable Lineup (4-1-4-1)
Okazaki – Zimling – Choupo-Moting – N. Müller
Park – Noveski – Bell – Pospěch
Bench: Karius, Svensson, Diaz, Fathi, Malli, Moritz, Polter
FC Bayern may have had two draws on the road, and has drawn at home against Mainz before. That was a scoreless draw, though and with the form of Ribéry, Robben, and Kroos, it is hard to imagine two consecutive ties. Munich has not lost a game at home since allowing Arsenal to climb back in the Round of 16 of the Champions League, and has not dropped a point at home in 2013 – Borussia Mönchengaldbach's 1-1 draw on December 14, 2012 the last draw at home. Three more points is the expectation, and anything less will be a shock.
More from Bavarian Football Works:
- Bayern to offer professional contract to Alessandro Schöpf
- Bastian Schweinsteiger earns his 100th international cap for Germany
- How much longer will Rafinha be with Bayern Munich?
- Bayern High Five: Tuesday October World Cup Qualifiers and Friendlies
- Xherdan Shaqiri injury worse then anticipated; out six to seven weeks