Fresh off an exhilarating 3:1 victory over European supervillains Paris Saint-Neymar - Saint-Germain, that is - Bayern Munich travel to Frankfurt to build their lead at the top of the Bundesliga table.
Starters gonna start
Heynckes’s lineup against PSG elicited no small amount of surprise on account of the omission of no fewer than four starters: Jerome Boateng, Javi Martinez, Arturo Vidal, and Thomas Müller, all of whom were rested for a variety of reasons. Heynckes indicated at the pre-game press conference that this quartet will return to the starting lineup in Frankfurt.
There are a number of candidates for rest among the other players, but it is impossible to guess who Heynckes might include or leave out, if anyone. Kingsley Coman suffered a minor knock in the game against Paris, but he has returned to team training and will be available.
Battle of the Boatengs
Finally, Bayern and Frankfurt can settle the question of who has the better Boateng: in all likelihood, Jerome will be lining up against his half-brother Kevin-Prince, who joined Frankfurt this summer on a transfer from Las Palmas. Kevin-Prince Boateng was recently honored for his contributions to the fight against racism.
The brothers have played against each other in the top flight six times. Jerome has two wins to Kevin-Prince’s one.
Frankfurt: “Games in Frankfurt can always hurt”
Ah, but who? Eintracht Frankfurt are hoping to snap a seven-year winless-streak against Bayern Munich. Strangely enough, Frankfurt’s all-time record remains better: they have won 18 of their encounters with Bayern, lost 16, and drawn in 16.
Head coach Niko Kovac will have Frankfurt defend compactly and aggressively in the hope of forcing errors. “We have to have a fantastic day, and Bayern a not so good one. If we play to our potential, we can hurt the Bavarians,” Kovac stated.
Here is how Eintracht might lineup:
Frankfurt have climbed to the mid-table with a combination of solid defending and sufficient scoring. They are prolific on neither end of the pitch. Striker Sebastien Haller leads the team with five goals (two penalties) and two assists, followed by Ante Rebic with four goals and one assist. Kevin-Prince Boateng has scored three goals, as well.
On defense, David Abraham will anchor the back line, as Japanese international Makoto Hasebe, who has struggled with knee problems this season, has been sidelined by the flu. Playing wide on the right, Marius Wolf has performed admirably since American Timothy Chandler suffered a severe knee injury. Wolf has three assists and two goals to his name.
Frankfurt will hope to grind Bayern down in their loud home arena and capitalize on a mistake. Heynckes’s men cannot let down their guard.