Europe League euphoria give S04 boost for Mainz

The buzz around the Royal Blues is huge after the side heroically reached the Europa League quarterfinals on Thursday evening. But now the team needs to switch back into Bundesliga mode, because on Sunday (19.03) awaits another difficult game away at 1. FSV Mainz 05 (15:30 CET).

"There was no time to celebrate. But the positive result in Mönchengladbach definitely gives us extra momentum. We need to take that with us," believes Markus Weinzierl, as his side looks to wrap up a long run consecutive midweek fixtures. 

"We’re in a high-intensity phase right now, which takes a lot of energy. We need to look at the line-up and ensure we have the right mixture in order to keep things fresh. But I think the euphoria of Thursday night will give us more strength," told the 42-year-old. No players had any injury concerns following full time in Mönchengladbach, confirmed the head coach after the game. "But we need to wait until the final training session. I assume we will have everyone fit." The same goes for Leon Goretzka, who was battling with cold-like symptoms during the match at BORUSSIA-PARK.  "He dug deep and battled for the team," praised Weinzierl. 

Mainz, who suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat to bottom-placed Darmstadt last weekend, are a team that defends compactly and are always dangerous on the break, according to the Royal Blues boss. "We need to really pay attention and avoid giving away possession," warned Weinzierl. "We will go into the match 100% committed and give our all. We have some really important games ahead of us in the Bundesliga. We want to get as many points as possible."

Stats and facts ahead of the game

• Since matchday 12 of the current season, hosts 1. FSV Mainz 05 and FC Schalke 04 have never been separated by more than two points in the Bundesliga table.

• Christian Heidel joined the Royal Blues from Mainz in the summer of 2016. Schalke’s current sporting director had been at the Zerofivers since 1992.

• Schalke won all of their eleven meetings against Mainz in the first half of the season, but have only beaten them once in ten attempts in the second half (3-0 in Mainz in April 2007).

• Mainz will be without Stefan Bell, who is suspended. Bell picked up Mainz’s sixth red card of the season – the most of any club in the Bundesliga this season so far.