Karim Onisiwo will be hoping to get his goalscoring shoes back, just as Steffen Tigges did recently when Mainz host Cologne on Friday (kick-off: 8.30pm CEST).
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Onisiwo has scored three times in the first three games of the season but is currently seven games without a goal. Jonathan Burkardt hasn’t scored at all this season, but Marcus Ingvartsen has found the net three times in as many competitive games and should keep his place in attack alongside Onisiwo. The Dane’s goals helped Mainz draw with RB Leipzig and beat promoted Werder Bremen to move within a point of the top six. He was also on target in the DFB Cup second round win at Lübeck in midweek. The 05ers haven’t won at home all season, however, and are still without injured captain Silvan Widmer. Defender Stefan Bell could also be out but Jae-sung Lee’s goal against Bremen will likely keep him in Bo Svensson’s starting line-up at the expense of Angelo Fulgini.
Cologne are one point better off than Mainz, having beaten Augsburg 3-2 last weekend. Tigges netted twice, with the former Borussia Dortmund striker adding to his matchday eight effort against his former club in another decisive win. Florian Kainz returns from suspension, looking to boost his team-leading contribution to four goals and as many assists. Summer signing Linton Maina and youngster Denis Huseinbasic could both continue in an attacking line-up after scoring two goals and assisting one in their last three league games. Dejan Ljubicic is among the players still unavailable for head coach Steffen Baumgart, whose side had a week without a game after being knocked out of the cup at the first hurdle early in the campaign. Local boy Mark Uth could also be online for more minutes as he continues his comeback from injury.
Look: Tigges played for Cologne against Augsburg
- Burkardt has been goalless in eight Bundesliga appearances since last April but opened the scoring home and away against Cologne in 2021/22.
- Ingvartsen scored for the first time in two successive Bundesliga games, each effort for 1-0.
- Svensson (1.47) and Baumgart (1.55) have the best average points-per-game totals in their respective clubs’ history.
- Tigges has scored more times in the Bundesliga this season than his predecessor Anthony Modeste. However, all three of his goals fell at home.
- Cologne have gone down 1-0 a league record eight times this season, while securing a result in six of them at the top of the division (W3, D3).
- The Billy Goats have lost just one of their last five meetings with Mainz.
Mainz: Zentner (c) – Fernandes, Hack, Caci – Da Costa, Kohr, Stach, Aaron – Lee – Ingvartsen, Onisiwo
Out: Leitsch (exhaustion), Mustapha (thigh)
Doubtful: Bell (hitting), Widmer (thigh)
Coach: Bo Svensson
Cologne: Schwäbe – Schmitz, Kilian, Hübers, Hector (c) – Skhiri – Huseinbasic, Duda, Kainz – Tigges, Maina
Out: Andersson (knee), Chabot (ankle), Limnios (knee), Ljubicic (knee), Olesen (ankle)
Doubtful: Thielmann (sick)
Coach: Steffen Baumgart