Mainz seek passionate fans against Leverkusen

For Mainz to beat high-flying Bayer Leverkusen at the Coface Arena they are going to need all hands on deck - and that means the fans.

Johannes Geis of Mainz, Sebastien Pocognoli of Hannover

A full house is guaranteed when the third-placed Bundesliga side arrive at fifth-placed Mainz and the home team's coach Thomas Tuchel has called on the fans to get involved by providing the sonic equivalent of "sliding tackles" from the terraces.

"I want it to be loud," he said at the pre-match press conference. "It helps a lot when you get the feeling that they are also getting involved in the sliding tackles.

"We need the fans who can see the game through the eyes of the club."

Tuchel provided an anecdote from his first year in charge to emphasise how much the fans can contribute to a successful result.

"We were 1-0 down to Hertha and it was silent in the stands," Tuchel said. "Then Adriano (Grimaldi) raced through on goal and (Hertha goalkeeper) Jaroslav Drobny awkwardly booted the ball into the stands.

"Suddenly, it got really loud and there was pressure from the fans. The players confirmed it to me afterwards - they felt that something was possible, and indeed it was."

Mainz turned that game around to win 2-1.

"When an opponent makes two nasty fouls, then it gets really noisy and you notice that as an opponent, and you notice it too as the home team," Tuchel added.

Leverkusen noticed that at Old Trafford on Tuesday when they were beaten 4-2 by Manchester United in their Champions League opener, suffering a reaction from the home fans after having had the cheek to level the game at 1-1.

"We're prepared to play much better in Mainz than we did on Tuesday," coach Sami Hyypia said.

"Mainz play with a lot of pace and high intensity and we've got to be ready for that."

Hyypia is still without the injured duo of Gonzalo Castro and Jens Jegeler, but Lars Bender is fit and available.



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