Mainz chief ready for Dortmund test
The stage is set for Sunday's top-of-the-table clash between Mainz and Borussia Dortmund, but neither team accepts they are the favourites.
And Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp, who left Mainz after a nearly two decades at the club in 2008, claims that is proof that his former club has the better chance of winning on Sunday.
"We know what to expect at the side who deserves to be at the top of the table," he said.
"Mainz have the advantage of playing at home, but we don't feel we have no chance whatsoever."
Mainz's coach Thomas Tuchel is not reading anything into what his former mentor says, and claims they are just mind games from the opposition.
"We are outsiders in 90% of the games we play in, and we accept this role," he said.
"Borussia Dortmund are a huge club, even if they are trying to make us out to be the favourites. That is just a way to try and lull us into a false sense of security and we shouldn't take it too seriously.
"You only need to compare our budgets. We don't want to make ourselves out to be smaller than we are, but we also know what kind of quality Dortmund have."
Nevertheless, Tuchel insists his side will play for their ninth win of the season on Sunday to move five points clear.
"Our aim is always to play well and excite our fans at home and we have got to push ourselves to our limits once again against Dortmund if we want to get something," he added. "We want to beat Dortmund."
Both sides were knocked out of the DFB-Pokal this week, allowing them to focus their efforts on the Bundesliga.
The two teams are practically at full strength with only long-term injury absentee Sebastian Kehl, Patrick Owomoyela and Mohamed Zidan missing for the visitors while Andre Schurrle could start for Mainz after impressing as a substitute against Bayer Leverkusen last weekend.