Sunday’s Bundesliga double-header kicks off at Colface Arena, watch Mainz 05 v VfB Stuttgart live stream at 14:30 on 11th August.
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Mainz fans had another season to forget when the O-Fives finished 13th in Bundesliga for the second successive campaign. While Thomas Tuchel’s men were never in danger of being drawn into a relegation battle, Mainze finished last of the ‘safe’ clubs and the team has been a far cry from the one that finished fifth in 2011.
Tuchel has brought in several new players during the summer and pre-season results suggest there may be reason to hope for better this term. Mainz went unbeaten as they prepared for the new season, including a 4-1 victory against West Ham United, and defeated Fortuna in the first round of the German Cup in Cologne last Saturday.
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Stuttgart had little to shout about in Bundesliga last season, although they did finish one place above their hosts in twelfth. Bruno Labbadia’s side managed to qualify for the Europa League by reaching the final of the German Cup where they put up a brave fight to come from 3-0 behind Bayern Munich, to lose 3-2 at full time.
Vedad Ibisevic scored both goals in Stuttgart’s first round win in the German Cup at BFC Dynamo last week and the Bosnian, who scores at around a goal very two games, looks the best hope for Stuttgart to achieve a top six finish this season.