FSV Mainz v RB Leipzig – Coface Arena at 19:30 GMT+1 live at BT Sport
RB Leipzig enjoyed a terrific last 10 days. Having booked their place in the DFB Pokal final for the very first time with victory over Hamburg, Die Rotten Bullen went on to secure a return to Champions League football next season after edging out Freiburg 2-1, their sixth straight Bundesliga success.
Head coach Ralf Rangnick is keen to continue Leipzig’s terrific 2019 form on Friday, knowing they still have plenty to play for, including a possible top-two finish. Die Roten Bullen are unbeaten in 13 Bundesliga matches and victory, coupled with a Dortmund defeat, would move the Saxony side to within two points of second ahead of their Matchday 33 showdown with Bayern Munich.
The second half of the season didn’t have an auspicious start. Rangnick’s side lost 1-0 at home to Dortmund, meaning they kept a place in the Bundesliga’s top four by the narrowest of margins. Since then, though, Leipzig have barely put a foot wrong (W10-D3-L0), as well as bagging seven successive away league wins.
Continuity has been key with seven of the starting XI against Hamburg at the club for their promotion season in 2015/16. Leipzig may have had a healthy budget on their rise through the leagues, but they have also invested wisely and developed a group of players who know what it’s like to fight hard to get to where they want to be. That has been highlighted by recent resolve.
Defensively, Rangnick’s side have conceded only six goals in 13 Bundesliga matches in 2019 and he looks unlikely to move away from his preferred three-man defence, ensuring a smooth transition for inbound coach Julian Nagelsmann. Friday night’s visitors boast the division’s meanest defence.
Leipzig can continue their 2019 form on Friday
Hungarian goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi kept a clean sheet every second game in that time, with eight of his shut outs coming in 13 league matches after the winter break. And with bang in-form strike pair Yussuf Poulsen and Timo Werner leading the line, there’s a few apparent weaknesses in this group.
Therefore, I’m happy to support Leipzig at 1.78 quotes to overcome a -0.50 Asian Handicap at Mainz here. The hosts arrive at the nal three matches of the season safe in the knowledge they’ll be playing top-flight football next term and it’s true too that the 05ers’ home form has been key to their relegation-beating efforts.
Sandro Schwarz’s men have claimed top honours in three of their last four at the Opel Arena, although the bulk of the bottom-half side’s best work has come against the league’s lesser lights. Mainz have W0-D1-L9 against the top-six and W1-D3-L11 when taking on the top-half, suggesting they will come up short.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: RB Leipzig -0.50 at 1.780
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.