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Borussia Dortmund vs Eintracht Frankfurt: Key Matchups

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Eintracht Frankfurt v 1. FC Koeln - Bundesliga Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images

Eintracht Frankfurt has played an exceptional season so far, they are in seventh place right now with 21 points, tied with Borussia Dortmund and three other teams. The pair of brothers that lead the club at the moment, Niko and Robert Kovac (an ex-Dortmund player) have this team heading in the right direction after they needed the relegation games to avoid a trip to the second Bundesliga last season. It will be tough game and hopefully Tuchel & Co. can keep this winning streak alive.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Defending set-pieces

Unfortunately one BVBs biggest weaknesses is one of Frankfurts biggest strengths. With Meier, Abraham, Vallejo and Hector they have four players that are especially dangerous when it comes to corner-kicks and free-kicks from the flanks. They will be a nightmare matchup all game long for our small defenders. In addition they have two very skilled players when it comes to free-kicks with Fabian and Huszti. Dortmund should avoid those situations as much as possible.

KEY TO THE GAME: Breaking through their defense

The key to Frankfurts success this season has been their defense. With only 9 goals conceded they are tied for third best in that category in the Bundesliga. They usually play a 3-4-3 with the wing-backs retrieving and forming a 5-man backline if the opponents attack. This defensive system has proven to be extremely effective and difficult to overcome. Our offense will have to be at their best if the black and yellows want to steal the three points from the Commerz-Bank Arena.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Alexander Meier

Do I even have to explain this one?

Alexander Meier has the distinct honor of probably being the best Bundesliga-player you never heard of if you're only casually following the league. The 33-year old striker has been one of the most consistent strikers over the last decade and it remains a mystery why he never played for a bigger club or never really had a chance in the German national team (only two games). In his entire career he has scored 143 goals across all competitions and has been Frankfurts life insurance for 11 years now.

Meier is a Ruud van Nistelrooy-type, it is possible you don't see him for 89 minutes but then he has that one moment of brilliance that will cost you. Due to his age and injury history he's not particularly fast anymore but he's tall and physical which means once he actually has possession it's difficult defend him. Our defense will have to man-mark him, preferably Sokratis.

PROJECTED LINEUP:

  • Formation: 3-4-3
  • Goaltender: Lukas Hradecky
  • Defenders: Jesus Vallejo, Michael Hector, David Abraham
  • Midfielders: Bastian Oczipka, Szablocs Huszti, Makoto Hasebe, Timothy Chandler
  • Forwards: Mijat Gacinovic, Alexander Meier, Marco Fabian

PREDICTION: 2-0 Dortmund

Let's keep this winning streak going! BVB are healthy again and the offense is firing on all cylinders, they will score. The problem will be our shaky defense but hopefully the additions of Schmelzer and Sokratis will help in this game.