The top flight of German football Bundesliga is back with Eintracht Frankfurt hosting defending champions Bayern Munich at the Deutsche Bank Park on Friday night, August 6. Frankfurt won the Europa League last season after sensationally defeating Barcelona and Rangers en route to the summit.
Eintracht Frankfurt head coach Oliver Glasner’s debut season in charge of the team has gone swimmingly well. Glasner was successful in spearheading a successful European campaign for Frankfurt in the Europa League. They progressed all the way to the final and eventually lifted the trophy without losing a single match in the competition.
The highlight of their journey in the Europa League was, of course, their sensational victory over European giants Barcelona in the quarter-final of the competition. British sides West Ham and Rangers were also powerless to stop Frankfurt’s run which resulted in the German team winning their first European trophy in 32 years.
However, it probably had a direct impact on their form in the league. Die Adler finished in 11th place but it goes without saying that they won’t be too affected by that since winning the Europa League results in direct qualification to the UEFA Champions League. The Europa League, too, is a tremendous achievement in its own regard and few fans would complain about the lack of results in the domestic league.
Oliver Glasner, who guided Wolfsburg to a top-four finish in the Bundesliga before leaving to take up the Eintracht Frankfurt will have higher expectations and demand more from his players, at least on the domestic front, going into the new season.
Eintracht Frankfurt, on their part, has gotten off to a terrific start this season. They demolished second-tier side Magdeburg 4-0 in the DFB Pokal away from home recently and debutant Lucas Alario also managed to get on the scoresheet.
Frankfurt also managed to sign Mario Gotze while keeping Filip Kostic at the club despite strong interest from West Ham. Their ambition this summer suggests that they will be trying to challenge in all competitions, with finishing in the top four of the Bundesliga being a priority. Although they will begin with probably the most difficult match on the fixture list against Bayern Munich, it is also an opportunity for them to mark their intent early on in the season.
Bayern Munich have had a roller coaster of a summer so far. They lost their star man and chief goalscorer Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona, but did manage to sign some top-level players in Sadio Mane, Matthijs de Ligt, Noussair Mazraoui, and Ryan Gravenberch. They also looked capable of scoring at will when they thumped RB Leipzig 5-3 in last weekend’s German Super Cup fixture, with former Liverpool forward Sadio Mane scoring on debut.
The Bavarians went into the break holding a comfortable 3-0 lead against the side formerly managed by Julian Nagelsmann. Jamal Musiala, Sadio Mane, and Benjamin Pavard got on the scoresheet inside the first 45. Although last season’s DFB Pokal winners bounced back strongly after the break and scored two goals to claw their way back into the match, Bayern survived the onslaught and claimed another two goals in the second half from Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane.
All in all, German top flight football couldn’t have asked for a better curtain raiser to the 2022/23 season after the eight-goal thriller between Bayern and Leipzig where both sides played some exciting football. Sadio Mane looked at home after arriving from Liverpool and it will be one of the biggest takeaways from the match for Nagelsmann and his staff.
Leroy Sane, who came on from the bench in the second half, was also looking close to his best. Any nerves that a 4-3 scoreline brought along with it were ultimately settled late into the match with Sane finishing off a superb counterattack in injury time. The winger, who was signed from Manchester City a couple of years ago, ran half the length of the pitch before showing plenty of composure to fool Peter Gulacsi and Hugo Novoa and slot the ball calmly into the back of the net.
Bayern Munich, winners of the last 10 Bundesliga campaigns in a row, will obviously start as the favourites to not only begin their season with a victory, but to extend their dominance for an 11th consecutive year.
FRK vs FCB, Bundesliga 2022/23
Date: 6th August, 2022
Time: 12:00 AM IST
Venue: Deutsche Bank Park, Frankfurt
Eintracht Frankfurt form (all competitions):
Bayern Munich form (all competitions):
Eintracht Frankfurt wins: 7
Bayern Munich wins: 31
Eintracht Frankfurt Team News:
Defenders Jerome Onguene and Aurelio Buta will be absent from Eintracht Frankfurt’s squad for this encounter. Onguene is out with a thigh injury while Buta has been recovering from a knee issue. Besides the defensive duo, Oliver Glasner seems to have the entire squad available and will have plenty of options to choose from when he prepares his starting XI against the reigning German champions.
The 4-0 victory over Magdeburg might even have a positive psychological effect and it won’t be surprising at all if he fields the same XI against Bayern at home. However, Glasner will probably be aware of securing his midfield better against lethal opponents like Nagelsmann’s side which is almost capable of breaking on the counter at every chance.
Daichi Kamada, who scored two goals in the last match, will be in definite contention to start. However, he could be pushed upwards from his usual midfield role in order to accommodate new signing Mario Gotze. Jesper Lindstrom might also drop out in favour of Kristijan Jakic.
Argentine forward Lucas Alario, who also got on the scoresheet in the previous match, will be looking to make a mighty impact from the bench and press Bayern’s tired legs. He might serve as a deputy to Santos Borre who was instrumental in the Europa League campaign last season.
Bayern Munich Team News:
Bayern Munich, on the other hand, will be making the trip to Frankfurt for their season opener without Leon Gortezka as the German midfielder continues to recover from knee surgery. In his absence, former RB Leipzig captain Marcel Sabitzer has been quite impressive in the pre-season and will be expected to start once again. Joshua Kimmich should also complement him at the centre of the park.
Kinglsey Coman will continue his suspension for two more league matches after he was sent off in the final league match against Wolfsburg last season. This could prompt Nagelsmann into starting with either Musiala or Sane on the left flank.
Serge Gnabry, who recently extended his contract with the club, bringing to an end speculation surrounding his departure is expected to marshal the right flank. Sadio Mane will be raring to get going and is in contention to start. Matthijs de Ligt, however, is short on match fitness and Nagelsmann will be expected to bring him into the fold slowly and cautiously.
Eintracht Frankfurt possible starting lineup:
Trapp; Toure, Tuta, N’Dicka; Knauff, Jakic, Sow, Kostic; Kamada, Gotze; Borre
Bayern Munich possible starting lineup:
Neuer; Pavard, Upamecano, Hernandez, Davies; Sabitzer, Kimmich; Gnabry, Muller, Musiala; Mane
Eintracht Frankfurt have plenty of tools at their disposal and Oliver Glasner will certainly be hoping to improve on last season’s 11th place finish. However, a fixture against the German champions represents the toughest test on the calendar for the Europa League winners and Bayern Munich are the favourites to pick up a win away from home to begin their season. They looked extremely dominant against RB Leipzig in the German Super Cup and will be pushing forward with the same form.