The Eagle Has Landed
Eintracht Frankfurt, in short „The Eintracht“, as the Frankfurt club are known, have been a yo-yo club since 2011, when Armin Veh took over the manager position of Christoph Daum. At that point, Armin Veh faced a difficult task. Relegated with only 34 points on the credit side, the coach had to reassemble a pile of fragments. Nevertheless Veh mastered the crisis and enjoyed a stability that has been lacking in the coaches in Frankfurt for years, since Friedhelm Funkel, Michael Skibbe and Christoph tried their luck beforehand.
Veh arrived at Frankfurt in May 2011 as the club prepared for a hard year in the second tier. He secured promotion, and not once he was doubted until yet. As a promoted team Eintracht Frankfurt rushed through Bundesliga in 2012/2013 and reached its best result for years, with the sixth rank in Germany's flagship. Quick transition, short passing game and a breeze of pugnacity. Even Borussia Dortmund had to catch sight of Eintracht's ambition when Frankfurt reached a 3-3 draw, after being down 1-3 against BVB in 2012.
Whole Frankfurt is fallen into Euphoria after the team managed to reach the group stage of this year's Europa League. On Thursday they eliminated BVB's old acquaintance Qarabag Agdam with a 2-1 home win and expressly underlined their European ambitions after being abstinent in European football for about seven years. "Until today we hoped that we would be in advantage, after our upcoming opponents had to play European competitions," coach Armin Veh said. "Now the situation has turned around. The opponent had enough time to prepare, while we had to be in action. But still we are really looking forward to the upcoming match on Sunday." Asked on Borussia Dortmund, he said: "They lost Götze, but signed a couple of brilliant players instead. I think they are just as strong as last season, maybe even a little bit better."
Although Eintracht had to accept a tough 1-6 defeat in Berlin on matchday one, it seems that the Eagles want to continue their promising development. After three matches they only got three points, but their squad is way too promising to get involved in relegation battle. As I have already said before the match against Braunschweig, Eintracht Frankfurt will also be an unpleasant opponent. Nevertheless I'm hopeful that their style of play – which not only includes total defending - offers spaces, fast players like Aubameyang and Reus can use to create scoring opportunities.
Black and Yellow Facts
With exception of Ilkay Gündogan (back injury) and Lukasz Piszczek (hip injury), coach Jürgen Klopp can build upon every player. Julian Schieber, who has not been nominated into the squad during the last weeks due to his bad test match performances, has fought his way back. "I didn't like his performances during the try-outs. But he has fought back and I see a development. Schieber will return into the squad - Marvin Ducksch will get match practice while playing in our second team."
According to Klopp the 3-3 against Eintracht Frankfurt in 2012 felt like a loss. "Back then Eintracht made a brilliant match. Nevertheless the match is no longer at the back of our minds, both teams have changed. They play brilliant football," Klopp said. "Their transition is good, if you offer them space. We know that it's going to be a tough away match and that we have to fight against a massive euphoria. In regard to the match we've our aims and ambitions, those include a result that guarantees points. This is how we have to behave there."
As said before, the upcoming match is going to be a really tough one. Let's hope that our Black and Yellow heroes manage to steal three points from Frankfurt. My prediction: Eintracht Frankfurt 1-3 Borussia Dortmund. Also do not forget to check out our weekly "You vs the Editors" betting game. This time I'm facing James from Glasgow. You can find our predictions HERE!
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Großkreutz, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer - Bender , Sahin - Blaszczykowski, Mkhitaryan, Reus - Lewandowski.
Substitute's Bench: Langerak, Sokratis, Durm, Aubameyang, Bandowski, Kehl, Hofmann, Sarr, Schieber.
Missing: Piszczek, Gündogan.
Eintracht Frankfurt: Trapp - Zambrano, Anderson, Celozzi, Oczipka - Flum, Rode - Inui, Meier, Aigner - Kadlec.
Substitute's Bench: Wiedwald - Djakpa, Schröck, Lanig, Schwegler, Russ, Joselu, Rosenthal.
Missing: Jung, Lakic, Stendera, Kittel.
Referee: Manuel Gräfe (Berlin)
Kickoff: 1st of September 2013 - 5.30. p.m. CET.
Attendance: Waldstadion - 48,500 (sold out)