Bundesliga: Dortmund aim to recover from Bayern bashing at Mainz
Before the international break, Borussia Dortmund’s Bundesliga title hopes took hit a blip when they suffered a 5-1 thrashing to champions Bayern Munich, but they will look to recover against a Mainz side they have lost to just once since 2010.
A fortnight off, as internationals took centre stage, has given the Black and Yellows time to regroup for their visit to the Coface Arena, making them 2/1 with Coral to win to nil, with Mainz having kept just one clean sheet in their last eight outings and lost three of their previous five matches.
Having won seven of the last eight meetings with Mainz, Dortmund are the overwhelming odds-on 1/2 favourites to emerge victorious once again, though the hosts did secure a 2-0 home win last season and are 9/2 to cause another shock this time out.
Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel, who succeeded newly-appointed Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp at the Westfalenstadion, returns to the club which both he and the new Reds manager both were in charge of this Friday night.
Tuchel coached Mainz for six years, leading them into Europe and two occasions, including through a seventh-placed Bundesliga finish in 2013/14, but he departed after that campaign for a year out of coaching before his new role at Dortmund.
Recently, Mainz president Harald Strutz described the manner in which Tuchel left his side as “borderline” and claimed the Black and Yellows boss showed a lack of respect, despite his efforts with the club.
But Tuchel refused to be drawn into a spat, stating: “It’s certainly not a bad feeling for me to return. On Thursday evening I shall meet some friends and go to see some familiar faces.”
Dortmund will have to rediscover the form which saw them claim 11 consecutive victories during the beginning of Tuchel’s reign, with their damaging defeat to Munich coming on the back of three draws, leaving them seven points adrift of the Pep Guardiola’s leaders.
Both Marco Reus and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were on target in this fixture last term and have also enjoyed further fine form this season, especially the latter Gabon international frontman, who has struck an incredible 11 goals in 10 outings during all competitions.
The clinical Dortmund finisher is 7/2 to bag a brace or more against Mainz, while his partner in crime and Germany international Reus is 9/2 to open proceedings on their travels to face Martin Schmidt’s Die Nullfunfer.
Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal opted to send Belgian starlet Adnan Januzaj out on loan to Dortmund for the rest of this season, despite having struck the winner over Aston Villa early on, and he is 15/2 to net last for his first goal since arriving in Germany.
Mainz’ main attacking threat will surely be 23-year-old German marksman Yunus Malli, who has bagged six goals in nine appearances so far this season, and he is 10/3 to add to that impressive tally anytime on home turf.
Betting tip: Borussia Dortmund to win to nil @ 2/1