Mainz vs Hamburg Preview

Mainz and Hamburg go into their clash at the Coface Arena with a mutual desire to get their seasons back on track.

Hamburg take the lead seconds after the restart.

Hamburg have lost their last three matches to slip out of contention for a place in Europe, while Mainz have been unfortunate in recent games, even if they remain just three points adrift of the top six.

Saturday's game is therefore being regarded as a turning point by both clubs.

"Things have been building up a bit in recent weeks and this is fuelling our motivation," said Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel.

"It has not turned into frustration, but rather into a desire to do some catching up."

Tuchel is well aware that Hamburg are in a similar rut, and will be seeking the same positive result on Saturday.

"But I'm not concerned with how Hamburg are dealing with the current situation," added Tuchel at a press conference.

"I think that they will want to win the game so I therefore expect it to be more open than the Nurnberg match.

"I'm sure they know what to expect here and that they will be ready."

Coach Thorsten Fink has been doing the utmost to prepare his side not only for this game, but the remaining five matches, with one eye on next season.

"We have to see who is willing to dig the pitch up in search of a win," he said on his club's website.

"Only whoever gives everything for the club and the people who work here will be taken on into next season, all the rest can go and find themselves a new club."

His first move has been to name Rafael van der Vaart as his new captain with Heiko Westermann losing the captain's armband.

"This is a great honour for me," said the Dutchman. "There is no problem with Heiko - he has done a great job as captain and the contact between us is very good.

"Even if Heiko is no longer captain, he will continue to show his leadership qualities."



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