Match Day 30
Mainz 05 vs Freiburg
Tuesday, April 17th, 2018
03:30 am (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: Opel Arena
Last five matches form: D L L D D
Average goals per match: 1.03
Average goals against per match: 1.62
Top Scorer: Yoshinori Muto (7)
Last five matches form: L D L L L
Average goals per match: 0.90
Average goals against per match: 1.66
Top Scorer: Nils Petersen (13)
The final fixture of Match Day 30 in the Bundesliga sees a huge relegation clash at the Opel Arena as third bottom Mainz 05 play host to fourth bottom Freiburg.
With only three points between the sides and Mainz already boasting the better goal difference, a win for the home side here will see them escape the relegation zone at the expense of Freiburg. High stakes indeed.
Mainz must do without the suspended Giulio Donati down their right-hand side. The exact make up of their back line also remains to be seen with both Abdou Diallo and Stefan Bell doubts ahead of this tie.
Freiburg have numerous injury concerns ahead of this crucial clash. Whilst some of the knocks are only to bit part players, they do seem to be missing Florian Niederlechner and Mike Frantz.
Neither of these sides can buy a win in the Bundesliga at present, with both Mainz and Freiburg headed into the game winless in six.
Freiburg are tough to recommend for the win considering they have only won once on the road all season. Their main objective here though may to be simply to avoid defeat. Having drawn five of their past seven away from home, that may prove to be an achievable goal.
If Mainz are to escape the relegation zone then they really need to be winning this. The home side can therefore be expected to go on the attack and should score against a poor Freiburg side. Keeping the back door shut may prove another matter though. Draw.
Prediction: Mainz 05 2 - 2 Freiburg
Half time: 1 - 0
Full time: 2 - 0
Shots: 14 - 11
Shots on target: 3 - 0
Corner Kicks: 4 - 4
Possession: 50% - 50%
Janik Haberer and Manuel Guide were booked for the visitors, whilst the home sides Leon Balogun also had his name taken by referee Guido Winkmann.
It's tough to win a match without having a single shot on target, and much like almost every other side who has employed such a strategy before, it didn't work for Freiburg here. In truth they matched Mainz in just about every other category, but were simply incapable of providing a legitimate goal threat on the night.
Despite the significance of this win, we suspect that what this match will ultimately be remembered for is one of the most controversial VAR incidents to date.
Not much of note in the first half, although Mainz were undoubtedly the better side and did deserve their lead at the break. The manner in which it came about though was truly bizarre.
A penalty was initially awarded for a handball by Marc-Oliver Kempf, only to then by overruled upon consultation with VAR. Off the players went to the dressing room, only to be hauled back onto the pitch again as the officials decided that it in fact was a penalty after all. Pablo De Blasis converted to give Mainz the lead. This was quite possibly the worst advertisement for the new technology to date though and a worrying sign ahead of the looming World Cup.
Marc-Oliver Kempf clearly still hadn't calmed down during the interval, and he was taken off ahead the second half.
The second came in the 78th minute and was a little more conventional. Sloppy play at the back from Freiburg allowing Robin Quaison to square the ball to de Blasis in the box. De Blasis did his very best to miss the open goal but in the end his effort just about made it over the line via the post. 2-0 final score.
A big big win for Mainz 05 were with the three points lifting them out of the relegation zone at the expense of their visitors, albeit only on goal difference. The pressure is firmly on Freiburg now with only four games remaining.