Pros 18.03.2022 — 17:07 Uhr

Svensson: "It will be a fight“

25,000 fans are expected to be in attendance when Mainz welcome Arminia Bielefeld to the MEWA ARENA this Saturday. The Zerofivers will have to do without the suspended Anton Stach, who earned his first call up to the German national team this afternoon.

Mainz narrowly beat Bielefeld in the DFB-Pokal earlier in the season

Just before the press conference ahead of Saturday’s clash with Arminia Bielefeld, the Zerofivers heard the good news, that Anton Stach would be called up to German national team for the first time. The midfielder is however suspended from the weekend’s game after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season against Dortmund in midweek. FSV will be looking to put their bitter defeat against BVB behind them by picking up points against Arminia. “We want to keep pushing on, play well and climb up the table,” said Bo Svensson, who stressed that his team’s performance on Wednesday was “100% on the money,” despite the 1-0 defeat.

“Anton is modest and knows that he has to continue to learn, but at the same time he knows how capable he is. That is not a bad combination,” said the gaffer, when asked about the quality of Anton Stach and his nomination for the national team. He added: “He should of course enjoy the moment.” As Stach is not available for selection against Arminia, Svensson must make some changes to his starting eleven. The boss could however call upon the services of Alexander Hack and Dominik Kohr, who are both available again after missing out against Dortmund. Niklas Tauer will also be unavailable on Saturday, after going off against BVB following a collision with Jude Bellingham. “Niklas is okay but he has a big bruise. With head injuries you cannot take any risks,” explained Svensson.

Even the small mistakes are punished

“I was annoyed that we were not rewarded for our good performance and that we conceded that late goal,” said Svensson, in relation to Wednesday’s game. “I am ambitious and I don’t like losing. The manner in which we lost was bitter and in football you are punished for even the small mistakes." Avoiding silly errors and building on the performance from midweek will be the focus on Saturday afternoon, when strugglers Bielefeld will visit the MEWA ARENA. After two tight victories over Arminia early in the season (a 3-2 in the DFB-Pokal and a 2-1 in the league), the boss expects another closely-fought encounter: “Bielefeld fight for every inch on the pitch and are a very tight unit. They have had big away wins in Leipzig, Frankfurt and Stuttgart already this season. They haven’t won too many but have drawn a lot of games. The matches that I have experienced against Bielefeld have all been close. I expect the same thing tomorrow. It is an important match for both teams and it will be a fight, that goes without saying. You know what to expect when you play them. We need a top performance.”

Bielefeld fight for every inch on the pitch and are a very tight unit.

After the postponed fixtures and the game against Dortmund, Svensson sees it as an advantage that all of the players have had a “few extra days of training” and there are more options amongst the squad. “Some players are a little bit further ahead after they had three days more. Regardless of corona, we always regularly check the strain on our players, especially when there is only a few days rest in between. No one has played or will play if there is risk attached,” asserted the head coach, underlining that health has to come first.

All of the pieces for a great day of football on Saturday are in place. There is expected to be around 25,000 fans in the MEWA ARENA and sunny, spring-like weather is forecast. Donations can also be made to support Ukrainian families inside and outside of the stadium.