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Opposition Analysis: Borussia Dortmund vs Eintracht Frankfurt

A vulnerable Dortmund team looks to get back on track

Hannover 96 v Eintracht Frankfurt - Bundesliga Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund will try to get back to its winning ways when it pays a visit to Eintracht Frankfurt. Dortmund saw its 41-game home winning streak snapped last Saturday when RB Leipzig handed BVB its first loss of the season. Eintracht is coming off a win over Hannover 96, 2-1.

What to Watch for: Long throw-ins

Frankfurt spends the majority of its game either defending or passing around in the midfield. It’s a patient approach that works very well for this team. However, when presented the slightest opportunity to send a ball into the box, Frankfurt usually capitalizes. This is never more apparent than on throw-ins.

Frankfurt has used the long throw to score on a few different occasions this season — most notably Kevin-Prince Boateng’s goal against Borussia Monchengladbach in September.

It’s deception that allows Frankfurt to convert on plays like this. It is unexpected and acts like a more accurately placed cross into the box. Dortmund will need to be careful not to concede throws near the box as Frankfurt can be very dangerous in those situations.

Key to the Game: Get crosses into the box

All season long, Frankfurt has had difficulty dealing with crosses being sent into the box from the wings, leading to goals or quality chances for opponents. This weakness was exploited in a game against Augsburg earlier this season. Both Augsburg goals came on crosses that ended up making their way on frame.

The first was a free kick from just in front of the corner flag, bending its way through defenders and past the keeper. The second, a cross towards the back post that ended up striking the cross bar and going into the net. On both goals, the keeper was late to react and failed to detect whether the ball was a cross or a shot.

If Dortmund can find a way to keep directing crosses into the box, they should get a few solid chances. With wingers like Andriy Yarmolenko, Max Philipp, and Christian Pulisic, this should be no problem.

Player to Watch: Ante Rebic

On loan from Fiorentina, Rebic has made a positive impact since joining Eintracht. His three goals are tied for the team lead and he has accomplished that feat in just six games as a winger. Rebic also gets credit for plays that don’t show up on the score sheet, creating several scoring chances using his incredible awareness. The Croatian winger has been an extremely accurate passer as well, leading to several chances for his strikers.

Projected Lineup

  • Formation: 3-4-3
  • Goalkeeper: Lukas Hradecky
  • Defenders: Makoto Hasebe, Carlos Salcedo, Marco Russ
  • Midfielders: Mijat Gacinovic, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Timothy Chandler, Jetro Willems
  • Forwards: Ante Rebic, Sebastian Haller, Marius Wolf

Prediction: 2-2 tie

Wow, Dortmund looked awful in both games against Leipzig and Apoel. Not much conviction in attack. Up against a team like Eintracht on the road, Dortmund won’t lose but will have a tough time outmatching a defensive-minded Frankfurt side.