Borussia Dortmund captain Mats Hummels has urged his team-mates to win both of their remaining games, starting with the visit of Mainz tomorrow afternoon. Dortmund need just two points to claim back-to-back Bundesliga titles for the fourth time, their tenth top-flight title.
The 26 year-old centre-back has made 35 Dortmund appearances this season, scoring thirteen goals, helping keeping fifteen clean sheets, being voted man of the match six times, and winning one Bundesliga Player of the Week award.
FSV Mainz have enjoyed their best ever season in continental football, having played in the Champions League for the first time, missing out on the knockout stages on goal difference behind Real Madrid. They then beat Rubin Kazan and Lazio before falling in the last eight against Ajax.
After last season’s third-place finish, the side are battling to end this campaign in the top-half, sitting in tenth place and unable to finish higher than eighth. The squad is the same as last year’s, not bringing anyone in during the transfer windows and managing to retain their core.
Ádám Szalai is their top-scorer having found the back of the net twenty times this season, as well as once for Hungary in his three appearances in their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.
Dortmund lost the reverse fixture at Mainz 1-2 at the beginning of December, just three days after crashing out of the Champions League after being beaten at home by Standard Liège. Andreas Ivanschitz put Mainz ahead inside two minutes, with Marco Reus equalising five minutes before the break.
Ádám Szalai scored what was the winner with less than 90 seconds to go of the first-half, before referee Florian Meyer disallowed a Robert Lewandowski equaliser and turning down a strong penalty shout after the interval.
Tomrrow’s referee will be Günter Perl from Munich, taking charge of his 18th 1.Bundesliga game of the season. He’s shown just 22 yellows and one red in those previous seventeen matches. His last Dortmund game was the 4-1 win at Nürnberg in February.
In the pre-match press conference, manager Grayson Surman said that the squad was treating the match like any other, buoyed by extra confidence from the win at Bayern last week.
Dortmund are expected to play their strongest-possible squad, with Roman Weidenfeller expected to say a fond farewell to Signal Iduna Park ahead of a summer move away from the club after thirteen years at the club. Surman wants the job done tomorrow so he can play some youngsters at Hoffenheim next week.
We’re back playing very well, as we showed in Munich last week. We all want to put on one last display at home and treat our fans – the best in the league.