Should the Bavarians fail to win, they will become the first team in Bundesliga history not to have picked up a single league victory after 15 games of the season.
More pertinently, perhaps, they need the points to move away from the foot of the table and boost dwindling confidence levels.
"You need success to be confident, but we've had very little success so far," coach Gertjan Verbeek said.
"And a disadvantage for us is that we need time."
With just two points from five games since replacing Michael Wiesinger, Nurnberg's fortunes have not picked up since the change in coach.
They have not been lucky on the whole, in view of the statistic that they have hit the woodwork 13 times already this season - more than anybody else in the Bundesliga.
"I've asked if there's a way of building goals without posts and crossbars," joked Verbeek, who showed he is at least able to keep a sense of humour in spite of his side's struggles.
Preventing Nurnberg from scoring should be Loris Karius, who impressed as a replacement for the suspended Christian Wetklo recently.
"He's made a very good impression," Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel said. "I said ahead of his first appearance that mistakes can happen, but I've been pleased by his overall presence.
"He has been confirming that in training too - training with a lot of focus and he has a good overall package."
Tuchel needs to find a replacement for the suspended Elkin Soto, on the other hand, with Christoph Moritz a candidate.
"He knows he has my full backing," Tuchel said at a press conference.
After losing 3-1 to Dortmund last week, Mainz remain four points adrift of the top six, although defeat could see them drop three places this weekend.