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Advanced role helps Okazaki find scoring form at Mainz

Shinji Okazaki has attributed his brilliant goalscoring form to the fact he is operating closer to goal for FSV Mainz.

The 27-year old Japan international netted his ninth Bundesliga goal of the season as Mainz edged his former club VfB Stuttgart 2-1 on the weekend.

Okazaki already has more goals than the eight he has scored over the past two terms with Stuttgart and he suggests that is due to the position Thomas Tuchel has him playing for die Nullfunfer.

"At Stuttgart I was mostly deployed in midfield, whereas here at Mainz I tend to play up front or in the hole directly behind the striker. And that's my strongest position," he told Bundesliga.com.

Okazaki has scored six goals in his past six league outings which has helped Mainz moved up to eighth on the German top flight table.

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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