On Sunday afternoon, one of Mainz and Augsburg could take a big stride towards safety. Tobias Gourlay knows which one he thinks is more likely to step up...
Mainz v Augsburg Sunday June 14, 14:30 Watch it on BT Sport 1
History favours the hosts
Since the Bundesliga restarted, Mainz and Augsburg have just one win apiece from a cumulative 10 matches. Mainz won 2-0 at Frankfurt a week ago and are now three points clear of 16th-placed Fortuna Dusseldorf, who are currently headed for a relegation playoff with the team that finishes third in the 2. Bundesliga.
In 13th place, Heiko Herrlich's Augsburg are just one point better off than their hosts. The new coach, whose first game in charge was the first game after the resumption, is W1-D2-L2, with a win and a loss from two previous away days.
Mainz start this one as favourites. With a W4-D2-L1 record against teams currently 9th and below in the table, they probably deserve that status. Although Herrlich has an even away record, Augsburg have actually lost six of their last seven on the road. Since the start of term, they are W2-D1-L4 visiting teams now 9th and below, so both teams' records against similar opposition suggest there's value in backing the home side.
This weekend, Mainz's need for three points feels a little more urgent than Augsburg's. A point for the visitors would keep them ahead of their hosts and with their fate very much still in their own hands - their final away trip is to 16th-placed Dusseldorf. For Mainz, a win could put two more bodies between them and the drop zone (Augsburg's and perhaps also Union Berlin's). With away trips to second-placed Dortmund and fourth-placed Leverkusen to come, they could use a cushion so that they don't have to pin everything on a final home match with Werder Bremen, who are currently second bottom but could still be fighting when they come to town in a week's time.
Going a little deeper into the record books Mainz have finished 15th, 14th and 12th since 2016/17. Hosting teams that have finished those seasons in the bottom half, they are a strong W15-D4-L5 over that period. Mainz have also won this particular match-up in six of the last seven Bundesliga seasons. This sort of game has been their meat and drink, it seems, and we'll back them at 2.44 to tuck into Augsburg for Sunday lunch.
Goals not guaranteed
Going back to 2014, 8/11 league meetings between these two have delivered Over 2.5 Goals, including 4/5 at the Opel Arena. Home and away this season, more than two-thirds of Mainz's matches have delivered Over 2.5 Goals (21/30). However, the hosts have scored just five times across their last nine Bundesliga home games and have been heavily reliant on stronger opposition to get them over the goals line. In fact, 4/5 games recently have not got there at all, finishing with Under 2.5 Goals.
Augsburg have failed to score in 5/6 on the road and, since a thrashing in Moenchengladbach back in October, 7/11 of their road trips have finished with Under 2.5 Goals, which is currently available at slightly better than even money. With Mainz hardly in prolific form and Augsburg perhaps happy to batten down the hatches and settle for a draw, we like the odds-against play on a low scorer.
Correct Score options
If it's a low scorer and Mainz are going to win, there are only two possible Correct Scores: 1-0 and 2-0. They should be available at around 10.00 and 14.00 respectively. The latter of those has been the correct final tally in four of Augsburg's last six away games but, with Mainz a little short on goals recently, we'd look to cover 1-0 as well.
To dutch those two Correct Scores and give yourself the same payout if one of them comes in, put around 58% of your stake on 1-0 and 42% on 2-0. A payout on either would then be made at odds of around 5.80.