Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp was full of praise for former club Mainz and coach Thomas Tuchel ahead of their Bundesliga clash.
Klopp spent seven years in charge of Saturday's opponents before leaving them for Dortmund in 2008, and a win at Signal Iduna Park on Saturday would mark a sixth consecutive victory over his former employers.
The 46-year-old - who also played for Mainz for 12 years between 1989 and 2001 - sung the praises of his old club and Tuchel, who has been in the Coface Arena hotseat since August 2009.
"They are an established Bundesliga team now and I'm delighted for them," Klopp said.
"They are in very good shape, and Thomas could train any club in the world."
Dortmund would assure themselves of an automatic spot in next season's UEFA Champions League with a fourth straight Bundesliga victory this weekend, and they head into the game in high spirits.
Klopp's men destroyed already-crowned champions Bayern Munich 3-0 at the Allianz Arena in their last league outing, and followed that up with a 2-0 win over Wolfsburg in Tuesday's DFB-Pokal semi-final.
After the disappointment of exiting this season's Champions League in the last eight, a strong finish to what, at times, has been a difficult league campaign would set Dortmund up perfectly for their cup final against Bayern on May 17.
Mainz, meanwhile, have clear goals of their own to chase, with Tuchel's team still harbouring hopes of a top-four finish.
They currently lie seventh, four points adrift of fourth-placed Bayer Leverkusen, but they have been inconsistent in recent weeks, losing three of their last five Bundesliga matches.
A spot in the UEFA Europa League looks well within their reach, though, as they are just two points behind Borussia Monchengladbach in sixth with a trip to face Lucien Favre's men still to come next month.
In November's reverse fixture, Robert Lewandowski scored twice in a 3-1 win for Dortmund and Mainz will have to find a better way to cope with the Bundesliga's joint top scorer on Saturday.
Klopp revealed on Thursday that Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller will miss out with a groin injury, with Mitchell Langerak set to deputise, while the coach also confirmed club captain Sebastian Kehl is doubtful with a knock.
For the visitors, long-term absentees Julian Baumgartlinger (knee) and Dani Schahin (groin) have returned to training, but this weekend will come too soon for the pair.
|14||M. Jojić||6' 8'|
|Coach: J. Klopp|
for H. Mkhitaryan 80'
for M. Jojić 81'
for M. Reus 84'
|Matthews completes Sunderland move|
|Podolski set for Galatasaray medical|
|Gundogan inspires Dortmund victory|
|Inter confirm Montoya capture|
|Murillo joins Inter, as Kuzmanovic and Obi depart|
|Falcao signing not a risk, says former Chelsea star|
|Deeney agrees new Watford deal|
|Confidence and service the key to Falcao success at Chelsea|
|No bids for ´Chelsea target´ Baba, claim Augsburg|
|Derby swoop for Ince|
|Fiorentina consider legal action over Salah ´no-show´|
|Chelsea the team to beat in the Premier League, says Neville|
|Storari exits Juve for Cagliari|
|UEFA removes FFP restrictions on Man City and PSG|
|West Brom hope for new owners within the month|
|Chelsea agree loan deal for Falcao|
|Kuyt eyes trophies on Feyenoord return|
|Chile v Argentina: History beckons ahead of Copa America final|
|Wallace extends Monaco loan|
|Mihajlovic wants to instill fear factor at Milan|
|Mignolet improving at Liverpool - Grobbelaar|
|Mumbai City name Anelka player-manager|
|Olivia the parrot predicts Japan to win Women´s World Cup|
|Lusitans coach blasts Bilic´s ´lack of respect´|
|Sakho eyes more Europa League wins|
|Gareca wants Peru to keep building|
|Chile ´no chance´ if Argentina produce their best - Diaz|
|Ocampos joins Marseille permanently|
|Europa League Review: Cloud-nine Brondby ignite opening round|
|West Ham 3 Lusitans 0: Sakho nets twice at start of Europa League journey|
|Holebas makes Watford move|
|Milan secure Adriano signing|
|Peru v Paraguay: Diaz counts cost of semi-final loss|
|Bastia hit out at reports of extra debt|
|Hernandez has successful surgery|
|Odemwingie signs one-year Stoke extension|
|Uth signs for Hoffenheim|
|Henen seals Everton return|
|Cattermole pens long-term Sunderland deal|
|United States v Guatemala: Klinsmann backs Dempsey ahead of Gold Cup warm-up|
|West Ham working on Jenkinson return - Gold|
|Milan agree deal for Bacca|
|Real buy back Vazquez from Espanyol|
|Richards leaves Swansea for Fulham|
|McShane signs for Reading|
|Giggs tells youngsters to seize US chance|
|Hammond pens Leicester extension|
|Only Schweinsteiger can decide Bayern future - Guardiola|
|Cech plans to play until he´s 40|
|Montoya arrives in Milan ahead of Inter move|
|Hernandez out of Gold Cup|
|US asks Switzerland to extradite seven FIFA officials|
|MLS Preview: Sounders seek momentum switch|
|Mexico 0 Honduras 0: Hernandez injury sours friendly|
|Hernandez taken to hospital|
|Garay in doubt for Copa America final|
|Wambach: USA peaking for World Cup final|
|Bassett ´an absolute hero´ despite own goal - Sampson|
|Japan 2 England 1: Late own goal breaks English hearts|
|Salvo quits as Valencia president|
|Costa not Ribery cover - Bayern director Sammer|