Hoeness: "It'll be a big challenge"

TSG Hoffenheim will resume action after the Bundesliga break with a trip to 1. FSV Mainz 05. Prior to the important clash with the men from Rhenish Hesse (Saturday at 15:30 CET), head coach Sebastian Hoeness spoke about the personnel situation, the opposition and recent results.

Sebastian Hoeness on…

…the personnel situation: "Ermin Bičakčić, Robert Skov, Marco John and Kevin Akpoguma will definitely miss out. Pavel Kadeřábek is on the right path but will not be in contention for Mainz. Chris Richards will also not feature, while Sebastian Rudy is suspended."

…Mainz 05: "They're on the right path. They've also had their ups and downs in the league. They've not been satisfied with their recent results but they're still unpleasant to play against, especially at home. It'll be a big challenge. Under Bo Svensson, Mainz look to win the ball high up and quickly attack the opposition goal."

…the most recent results: "We have failed to take points from our last two Bundesliga games and have noticed that in the table too. That's part of the maturing process. The league is immensely tight. What's important is how we deal with it. We were not satisfied with our display against Freiburg; it was different against Union and Dortmund."

…the week of training: "Chris Richards and Diadie Samassékou were the only ones away over the international break. The focus of the training has been on the penalty area, both defensively and offensively. We used the friendly against Elversberg to field players who have not previously been getting the playing time they wanted."

…the return of spectators: "We played against Union Berlin two weeks ago and there we saw what spectators bring. It does every team good. We are therefore hoping for vocal support in our home games. Football is an emotional sport and there are always phases in which you need a push from the fans."

…on new signing Justin Che: "Justin is a young lad. He's from the 2003 year group and is highly talented. He immediately impressed in Munich in the third tier. We took the opportunity to loan him for a season and a half. We'll give him time to acclimatise. He has already shown good things on the pitch. But it is too early for a starting place."

Head-to-head record:

The two teams have already faced off 25 times in the Bundesliga. Mainz have 11 wins to their name, Hoffenheim have seven. TSG are currently on a three-game winless run against FSV.

The opposition's form:

Mainz have started the second half of the season with three defeats from four competitive matches. But coach Bo Svensson's side have still had an impressive campaign and sit in 10th place in the table after 20 rounds of matches.

Match facts and statistics »

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