Borussia Dortmund will be looking to overtake RB Leipzig at the top of the Bundesliga charts when they meet Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday.
It has been a mixed week for Borussia Dortmund, who put out an excellent display against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League. They were the dominant side throughout the game but ended up ruing missed chances, which, otherwise, could have easily helped them secure a comfortable victory.
In the meantime, the Bundesliga giants will look to continue their winning momentum in the league as they lock horns with Eintracht Frankfurt at the Commerzbank Arena on Sunday. The Black and Yellows are third on the league table with nine points, but a win could potentially help them regain the top spot, currently occupied by RB Leipzig.
Eintracht Frankfurt, meanwhile, are coming on the back of a 3-0 defeat to Arsenal in the UEFA Europa League. Much like Dortmund, they too were left to lament their missed chances. The Eagles are also coming on the back of a 2-1 defeat to FC Augsburg in their last Bundesliga match.
They are currently ninth, but in this early stage of the competition, a defeat to Dortmund could push them to the wrong side of the table. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over these two sides ahead of this fascinating contest this weekend.
Team News & Tactics
Eintracht head coach Adi Hutter will persist with his preferred 3-4-1-2 shape but is expected to make a few notable changes to the side that lost to Arsenal.
New signing Djibril Sow was dreadful and could be replaced by the experienced figure of Gelson Fernandes in midfield. But, with Sebastian Rode ruled out with an injury, Dominik Kohr is likely to retain his place in the middle. The ex-Bayer Leverkusen star will partner Fernandes in the double-pivot.
Daichi Kamada, meanwhile, will be hoping to improve after an ineffective display against Arsenal. He will operate as the lone number ten, just behind the two centre forwards in Goncalo Paciencia and Andre Silva. Paciencia will come into the side at the expense of Bas Dost, who could later be utilised as a super sub.
The defence will remain unchanged due to the lack of options. David Abraham will lead the three-man backline and will be partnered by Martin Hinteregger and Makoto Hasebe. The three central defenders will likely sit deep and invite pressure from the Dortmund attackers.
And finally, Filip Kostic and Danny da Costa will feature as the two wing-backs, arguably the most important role in the Eintracht setup.
Probable Lineup (3-4-1-2): Trapp; Abraham, Hasebe, Hinteregger; da Costa, Fernandes, Kohr, Kostic; Kamada; Paciencia, Silva
Lukasz Piszczek is back from injury, which will serve as a massive boost for Borussia Dortmund. The experienced Pole will return to his right-back duties, which, in turn, will force Achraf Hakimi to move to left-back, replacing Raphael Guerreiro.
The Portuguese international did impress at left-back in the last two matches against Bayer Leverkusen and Barcelona, respectively. But, his services will be needed further forward, in the creative trio alongside Marco Reus and Jadon Sancho.
Lucien Favre also has other options, though. Julian Brandt impressed after coming on as a substitute in the midweek European game. Thorgan Hazard, too, looked promising, at times in the first-half, after returning from injury. However, both of them are expected to settle for places on the bench.
The Dortmund defence will remain unchanged, with Mats Hummels and Manuel Akanji forming the central defensive pairing. Hummels, in particular, produced one of the best performances of his career against Barcelona. The German will be hoping to replicate his form in the Bundesliga this weekend.
Axel Witsel and Thomas Delaney are guaranteed starters in the double-pivot, with Roman Burki starting in between the sticks. The Swiss international will be looking for his second clean sheet of this Bundesliga campaign. On the opposite end, the Dortmund attack will be led by Paco Alcacer.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Burki; Piszczek, Akanji, Hummels, Hakimi; Witsel, Delaney; Sancho, Reus, Guerreiro; Alcacer
- Borussia Dortmund have won 44 of their 92 Bundesliga meetings with Eintracht Frankfurt – more wins than they have picked up against any other club in the Bundesliga.
- Eintracht Frankfurt have beaten Dortmund 23 times at home in the Bundesliga (same as vs Werder Bremen) – out of the current German top-flight sides, they have only picked up more home victories against Schalke (25).
- Borussia Dortmund are without a win in each of their last five Bundesliga trips to Frankfurt.
- Frankfurt have won each of their two home Bundesliga games this season. They last won their opening three home matches in a league campaign in 2007-08 campaign.
- Eintracht Frankfurt have kept four clean sheets in 11 Bundesliga home matches in 2019. Only two other sides, RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich, have registered more this calendar year (both 5).
Player to Watch
Borussia Dortmund haven’t done well against Eintracht Frankfurt, of late. And the Eagles are surely going to cause a bit of problem for the visitors going forward, especially with Kostic being their weapon-in-chief.
Indeed, the Serbian international was one of the best performers in the defeat to Arsenal. His pace and tenacity, coupled with his trickery could put a lot of pressure on the ageing Piszczek, who will be returning to the side after an injury absence.
Kostic could even be deployed in a designated forward role, meaning he is definitely one to watch out for if Dortmund are to have any hopes of keeping a clean sheet in this counter.
Eintracht Frankfurt 1-3 Borussia Dortmund
The home advantage could turn out to be a huge factor in the outcome of this match. The hosts usually play really well at the Commerzbank Arena. But, at the same time, the Eagles have been sub-par early in the season and with a few of their main players, including Mijat Gacinovic and Sebastian Rode, out injured, it is unlikely they will be able to cause an upset this weekend.