In terms of personnel, they have set an important course for the coming years on the Wolfgang Frank campus on Bruchweg this week.

And after the unlimited contract extension with sports director Christian Heidel, the FSV Mainz 05 wants to add sporty on the eighth Bundesliga matchday.

Even if it is a "big task, a big challenge", as coach Bo Svensson emphasizes: Accompanied by around 1,300 fans, the Rheinhessen perform at Borussia Dortmund on Saturday afternoon (3:30 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Bundesliga and Sky ) at.

One of the challenges in preparing for the game in third in the table is that Svensson has to prepare his team for two scenarios: one BVB with and one without Erling Haaland.

"He is perhaps one of the five best strikers in the world," says the Mainz coach.

Whether the Norwegian, who was injured in the past few weeks, is there or not, changes the Dortmund game very much.

There will be at least two changes in the Mainz starting line-up: Dominik Kohr is yellow-red-suspended, Niklas Tauer or Anton Stach could join the team for him.

"Dome is the leading central player," says Svensson of his six on loan from Eintracht Frankfurt, "but sometimes players drop out, so we have others in the squad who then get their chance."

The fastest professional in the league fails

The Mainz team was hit harder by the fact that central defender Jeremiah St. Juste will be absent because the Dutchman, who dropped out early two weeks ago in the 1: 2 against Union Berlin, has to be operated on his shoulder, which has been repeatedly injured. The hope of being successful with conservative treatment, as at the beginning of the year, which only cost St. Juste two games, has not been fulfilled. When and where the 24-year-old will come under the knife is still unclear, as is the question of how long he will be out. Perhaps Svensson will have to replace the fastest player in the league according to measurements by the end of the year.

"We can't hide the fact that it hurts us not only because of his footballing qualities, but also because he is a leader and has great ambition," says Svensson. “We will miss the overall package.” On the other hand, captain Moussa Niakhaté should be back on the field from the start after a brief assignment against Union and two more weeks of training and move into the three-man chain at Stefan Bell's side. Svensson will only reveal on Saturday who completes the trio, whether Alexander Hack, who was released from quarantine after only one week of training after surviving the corona infection (despite vaccination), or the young David Nemeth.

At the obligatory press conference, the coach commented on Christian Heidel's contract extension, pleased but not astonished: "This is great news for the public, but I was already aware that he wouldn't run away in a few weeks."

Keywords: svensson, contract extension, mainz, leader, scenarios, duel, christian heidel, question, haaland, bvb, alexander hack, one, dutchman, bundesliga, dinosaur