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A Bundesliga view: Why Eintracht Frankfurt will qualify for the Champions League next season

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Is Frankfurt back for European glory? Spoiler Alert: Yes.

Eintracht Frankfurt v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - Bundesliga Photo by Ronny Wittek - Pool/Getty Images

Let’s rewind a little bit back to May 2019. Eintracht Frankfurt were red hot, flying through the Europa League and Luka Jovic was scoring goals for fun. They reached the semi-finals of the tournament and gave Chelsea their all, pushing the game to penalties. After the first three shots, Frankfurt had a 3-2 advantage. Unfortunately, Kepa Arrizabalaga would save both of Frankfurt’s next shots and eliminate the Eagles. Chelsea went on to the final and dominated Arsenal. Who knows what could’ve happened if Frankfurt had advanced.

Fast forward to today, and Eintracht Frankfurt have not started the season off in the fashion they would have liked. After Matchday 14, they sit 13 points behind the league leaders, where they are level with SC Freiburg on points. Their position is not horrible by any means but all things considered, I’m sure many have been disappointed by their recent results.

But enough of the past, let’s talk about the present. Die Adler have started the season off with a 4-8-2 record. They have tied the majority of their games (57%), which is an incredibly unusual stat. Last year in the Bundesliga, only 22% of games ended in a tie. This means that Frankfurt’s stat is obscure and will eventually regress to a more natural and sensible count.

What this all means is that Frankfurt will begin to end more games either with a win or a loss rather than a draw. And what that means is more points! You don’t need to be an analytics geek to see there is a clear outlier here. It’s not all necessarily bad luck, but Frankfurt needs to start playing to earn the full three points.

Now that we have gotten some rationale and math out of the way, let’s talk about my opinion. Does Frankfurt have a goal difference of exactly zero? Yes, and although that is a little bit worrisome, I still attest that Frankfurt will see at least some sort of European competition next year. There are some great signs showing for the team. All seven of their next games this season are against teams below them in the table, and they are still yet to play both Mainz and Schalke this season. These teams are second last and last, respectively.

On top of their schedule, Andre Silva is having himself quite the year. Silva is currently tied for third in scoring in the Bundesliga with nine goals. There are no signs of slowing down for the Portuguese striker as well. All the ‘fancy stats’ check out and assure that he will keep this form up.

So with all these reasons, why can’t Frankfurt crack the top four at the end of the season? Earlier this year in our season predictions, I had them qualifying for Europa League. But you know what? I’ll double down and say that they will finish fourth where they will play in the Champions League next year, along with Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, and Bayern Munich.

Am I crazy to think this? Let me know where you think they will finish and why!