Eintract Frankfurt vs. Bayern Munich: Preview, Players to Watch and Predictions

Stefan BienkowskiFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 25:  Arjen Robben of Bayern Muenchen celebrates as he scores their second goal during the UEFA Champions League final match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern Muenchen at Wembley Stadium on May 25, 2013 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Pep Guardiola and his Bavarian war machine continue their march to World domination this weekend with a tricky encounter away to Frankfurt, as the Eagles welcome the European and German champions to the Waldstadion and its 51,000 loyal inhabitants. 

Bayern will be searching for their second win out of two after an entertaining encounter against Borussia Moenchengladbach last Friday, while Frankfurt will be hoping to officially get their season started after an embarrassing 6-1 defeat away to promoted Hertha Berlin



Eintracht Frankfurt

What we can hopefully expect from Armin Veh's side on Satuday is a more composed effort that better resembles the industrious and well-earned team of last season, that regularly stuck the cat amongst the pigeons throughout the Bundesliga fixtures. 

Veh's altered 4-2-2 which favoured last season's top goalscorer Alexander Meier in the attacking midfield role, behind new signing Joselu and Jan Rosenthal, never really worked very well as the natural forward tended to stay forward and alter the side into something more akin to an open 4-3-3. This obviously led to the disastrous defensive performance that allowed six goals.

On Saturday we're more likely to see the Frankfurt coach resort back to his previous 4-2-3-1 formation from last season, which puts plenty of emphasis on the two holding midfielders, in the shape of Sebastian Rode and Primin Schwegler protecting the vulnerable back-line whilst also putting Stefan Aigner and Takashi Inui to the side on either wing. 

In these two wide players, Franfurt are able consolidate some form of hope in terms of taking something from Bayern. Frankfurt picked up 15 goals and 16 assists from the two of them last season. In terms of unlocking Meier's goalscoring, the two wide players are most definitely the key. If Frankfurt fans or neutrals are looking for players to watch, it'll have to be these two. 


Bayern Munich

Although nowhere near the scale of Franfurt's own failures, Bayern Munich's own defensive frailties were all too apparent last week when they came up against Gladbach in a match that saw them toss and turn with their old rivals for much of the match before finally putting an end to it all with two fortunate penalty decisions.

For Guardiola, Saturday's match will be another encounter in which he'll be hoping for a comfortable encounter in which he can iron out many of the wrinkles that still persist to show up throughout his squad's transition with their new coach. 

Despite the squad's reluctance to stick with a consistent formation throughout the summer period, Pep looks set to continue with the formation that former coach Jupp Heynckes left along with his legacy of success, in the form of the basic 4-2-3-1 shape. 

The advantages of this formation are not only that it offers the most standard route to success for this current side, but it also means that the players are already accustomed to their roles on the pitch. As such, basic predictions as to how each player will perform are rather straightforward. 

Arjen Robben has been a standout performer throughout the past six months for the Bavarian champions, and his lobbed finish to kick off the scoring last Friday was a goal worthy of a fantastic player in the form of his life. It will also be worth noting the possible inclusion of Mario Gotze and Thiago Alcantara, who both came back from injury this week and will likely feature in the team this weekend in some capacity. 




Eintracht Frankfurt 0 - 2 Bayern Munich