Bayern Munich are looking to head into the international break on a positive note as they take on Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday.
Bayern Munich are the team to beat right now in Europe, having recovered brilliantly after a rough start to the season. The German Rekordmeister are currently leading the Bundesliga table by three points and are on a nine game-winning run in all competitions, making them the undisputed favourites to seal the German championship once again.
The Bavarians have also shown their quality in Europe, starting the Champions League campaign with a 3-0 win over Barcelona, followed by a thumping 5-0 win over Dynamo Kyiv this week. They will now have the opportunity to extend their winning run to ten games in all competitions as they play hosts to Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday.
Although Julian Nagelsmann’s team practically does not have any chance of dropping to second regardless of their results, a win could be hugely important as Bayer Leverkusen continue to breathe down their necks.
Their weekend opponent, Eintracht Frankfurt, are no pushovers either despite a tough start to the season that saw them collect just five points in six matches. In fact, they are one of only three Bundesliga teams yet to register a single victory in the new season, which is why Die Adler are hovering around the relegation zone.
It has indeed been a difficult start for new coach Oliver Glasner, but the former Wolfsburg mastermind certainly knows how to salvage against top teams like Bayern. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will take a closer look at his team’s chances in this high-end encounter at Allianz Arena this weekend.
Team News & Tactics
Julian Nagelsmann has confirmed the absence of French duo Corentin Tolisso and Kingsley Coman during the pre-match press conference. They are joined by another Frenchman in the suspended Benjamin Pavard in Bayern’s list of absentees heading into this game.
Julian Nagelsmann: "Kingsley Coman will not be available tomorrow. He will continue to train here during the international break, and hopefully will be back for Leverkusen. Tolisso is also out but is making progress. Benji is suspended. Otherwise everyone is fit and available" pic.twitter.com/CGCYGrirNr
— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) October 2, 2021
Youngster Josip Stanisic is a favourite to deputise for Pavard at right-back this weekend, but Nagelsmann is unlikely to ring in any other defensive changes as he hopes for his team to secure their fourth clean sheet in five matches.
Stanisic is an excellent operator at right-back as he can play in an inverted role that opens up multiple tactical possibilities for Bayern, including more attacking freedom for Alphonso Davies. The Canadian’s partnership with Leroy Sane on the left flank, in fact, will be one of Bayern’s main weapons going forward.
There might not be too many changes in midfield either, with Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka maintaining their partnership in the double-pivot. Their presence will be vital in helping Bayern dominate proceedings as well as creating the chances going forward, though the main onus will be on Thomas Muller, Serge Gnabry and Sane to offer that creative essence in the final third.
All the three players have done exceptionally well under Nagelsmann this season, but it remains to be seen whether they can help Robert Lewandowski find the back of the net, after failing to do so in the game against Greuther Furth last matchday.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Stanisic, Upamecano, Hernandez, Davies; Kimmich, Goretzka; Gnabry, Muller, Sane; Lewandowski
Eintracht Frankfurt are missing out on a few key players heading into this clash including defender Evan N’Dicka and Christopher Lenz while Erik Durm and Martin Hinteregger are doubts. They could be joined by Sebastian Rode in the club’s potential list of absentees heading into this important Bundesliga encounter.
? Oliver Glasner's pre-match presser:
— Eintracht Frankfurt (@eintracht_eng) October 1, 2021
Due to the lack of options in defence, coach Oliver Glasner might be forced to continue with a 3-5-2, with Hinteregger and Makoto Hasebe forming the central defensive partnership, with additional assistance from the experienced Stefan Ilsanker.
The veteran Timothy Chandler should provide further aid despite operating as a right wing-back. The American has a wealth of experience in the Bundesliga that could be useful against an opposition of this calibre while his presence in the side should also allow Filip Kostic more freedom on the opposite flank.
The former HSV star, after all, will be the main chance creator for Eintracht, as he looks to whip in crosses into the box for the two central strikers in Rafael Santos Borre and Sam Lammers.
Meanwhile, in the midfield department, Frankfurt are likely to stick with Kristijan Jakic and Djibril Sow operating in the double-pivot, with additional support from advanced midfielder Daichi Kamada in the second line of press.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Trapp; Ilsanker, Hasebe, Hinteregger; Chandler, Sow, Kamada, Jakic, Kostic; Lammers, Borre
- Robert Lewandowski (hat-trick), Jamal Musiala and Leroy Sane were among the scorers in last season’s 5-0 home win over Frankfurt – part of an incredible run comprising at least one Bayern goal in a European record 81 competitive matches in a row.
- Julian Nagelsmann has won just three of 12 meetings with Frankfurt (D5, L4), but is unbeaten in six against Oliver Glasner teams (W2, D4).
- It took Rafael Borre 630 minutes to score his first Bundesliga goal. Sam Lammers needed 108 minutes to open his account.
- Filip Kostic has scored or assisted in three successive Bundesliga matches since January-February.
- Eintracht Frankfurt are one of three teams still to register a win this Bundesliga season. It’s the first time ever that they’re winless six matches into a new campaign.
Player to Watch
Former France and Juventus striker David Trezeguet: "Best striker in the world? I say Lewandowski. He has everything, he's quick when he has to, he uses both his left and right foot very well and has a very high level of ball control." [@Gazzetta_it] pic.twitter.com/jAc0YzIbJV
— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) October 2, 2021
As we close in on this year’s Ballon d’Or ceremony, fans will increasingly set their sights on Robert Lewandowski as he looks to battle it out with Lionel Messi for the prestigious award. So far, the Bayern Munich forward has done everything he can to be deserving of the award, having already started the new campaign with 13 goals in nine competitive outings.
Two of those came in the midweek win over Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League, but the Polish international was left frustrated last Friday when he failed to find the back of the net against Greuther Furth. It put to an end to his incredible record of scoring in 19 consecutive games in all competitions.
This weekend, Lewandowski will be determined to get back to goalscoring ways once again as he looks to move ahead of Erling Haaland in the race for the Torjagerkanone.
Bayern Munich 2-1 Eintracht Frankfurt
Bayern Munich are going to have difficulties beating an Eintracht Frankfurt side that may not have managed to register a single victory this season, but have a deadly attacking unit that can catch them out on the break any time. As such, we are expecting a close game with both sides creating significant goalscoring opportunities.
Bayern do have the advantage due to their home support, form and sheer quality in the attack that could easily overpower the SGE defence that has often looked underwhelming this season.