The month of February has been a rough one for FC Union Berlin, who ended January in a position to make a surprise run at a top-four finish in the Bundesliga and a spot in next year’s Champions League. Union haven’t scored in their last three games, falling 2-0, 3-0, and 1-0. Two of those losses were to bottom-of-the-table teams in Bielefeld and Augsburg, leaving Union’s dream of a top-four finish in tatters. Let’s hope for a surprise in this Union Berlin vs Mainz game.
Now they have a chance to take down one of the teams who have passed them in the standings when they host Mainz on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. ET. If they are to right the ship, they need to do it against a team that has allowed eight goals in their last five games. Their next three games are against struggling teams but if they can’t beat the opposition near then in the standings, they cannot contend for a spot in Europe.
Union have been good at home all season with 21 points from 11 games, including six wins. Meanwhile, Mainz have been horrible on the road with just two wins and one draw resulting in seven points from 11 games. They have been outscored 15-6 in their last seven road games with one draw and six losses.
Union have knocked off Mainz in three of the last five meetings with one draw. The only win for Mainz in that stretch was a 1-0 home win last February when they scored on a penalty kick. When these teams met in October, Union won 2-1 at Mainz with a pair of goals from Taiwo Awoniyi.
Mainz led in the 39th minute through Marcus Ingvertsen before Union scored twice in four minutes just after the hour mark. That contest featured four yellow cards and a straight red card with 21 total fouls so expect things to be chippy again on Saturday.
For those betting on German soccer, most sportsbooks have Union Berlin as a slight favorite in the +150 range with Mainz at +175. Betting on the teams to draw is in the +200 to +225 range and over 2.5 goals is +110.
If Union Berlin is to get back on track, a reachable bet on this Union Berlin vs Mainz game is for “Both Teams to Score” at +125. Mainz have scored in seven straight games but have allowed two goals or more in four of those games.
Union has allowed six goals in their last three games though they have not found the back of the net themselves. Another bet to look at is Mainz to score first, as they have in 11 games this season, and that bet will be found at +100 at most books.
Awoniyi leads Union in scoring with nine goals on the season while Max Kruse has five, three from the penalty spot. Neither have found the net in the whole month of February with just one chance left. Niko Giesselmann leads the team with four assists and also has three goals while Genki Haraguchi has four assists. Andreas Luthe has been under pressure lately allowing six goals in the last three games but he does have six clean sheets in 22 starts this season.
Jonathan Burkhardt leads Mainz with seven goals on the season while Lee Jae-Sung has four. Karim Onisiwo has seven assists for Mainz while Burkhardt and Silvan Widmer have three each. Of their 32 goals this season, only one is from the penalty spot. Robin Zentner has started all 23 games in goal this season with eight clean sheets and three straight positive results.
Everything is there for the Union to right the ship and get things going back toward the top four of the table. While they sit in ninth place, they are just three points away from fourth and a win Saturday would go a long way.
However, Mainz are full of confidence after knocking off Bayer Leverkusen 3-2 and they have grabbed seven points from the last three games to jump over Union in the table. So if Union can make the top four and a spot in the Champions League, why not Mainz too?