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Match Preview: Bundesliga Action Returns as BVB Face Eintracht Frankfurt

Football as it’s meant to be is back!

Borussia Dortmund v Eintracht Frankfurt - Bundesliga Photo by Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The Bundesliga has returned! After what felt like an eternity of waiting through the Winterpause, with nothing but the NFL and the Premier League to satisfy us, we can now get back to watching football as it’s meant to be in the Bundesliga, the greatest league on Earth. I hope you all enjoyed Christmas, Boxing Day, and New Years, because it’s January now, and it’s time for Borussia Dortmund to hit the grind again.

Their opponent to start the Rückrunde, as it was when the season began in August, is Eintracht Frankfurt. The Eagles, or Die Adler, currently sit in 6th place in the Bundesliga, but are only two points behind Freiburg in third place. While the Bundesliga’s title chase is all but decided, there’s a glut of teams clawing at each others’ throats in the race for the coveted third and fourth place Champions League qualification spots. Frankfurt can’t afford to drop any unnecessary points, and three points against BVB would be very valuable.

Any result other than a BVB win would be favorable to Frankfurt, given how the reverse fixture went. When the two clubs faced each other on match day one, Dortmund were dominant, led as always by the club’s star striker, Erling Haaland. He scored two goals and assisted two more to start off his torrid Bundesliga campaign, to overcome an early own goal from Felix Passlack:

Eintracht Frankfurt are an interesting side this season, because they don’t have many standout star players. Nobody on the team has more than four Bundesliga goals. Their offensive leader is ostensibly Filip Kostic with three goals and six assist, but besides him it’s been a real “score-by-committee” effort for Frankfurt this season. Their squad’s success starts with their solid back three of Evan Ndicka, Martin Hinteregger, and the 22-year-old Tuta, with Djibril Sow and Makoto Hasebe, two skillful ball-playing midfielders, in front of them. I don’t expect Frankfurt to concede possession at all tomorrow. They’re going to be a tough opponent for sure.

Predicted Lineup

Unfortunately, the lineup that BVB will field tomorrow will look nothing like the lineup that brushed aside Frankfurt back in August. Numerous injuries and COVID infections mean that Marco Rose will have to get creative with his squad sheet. Dan-Axel Zagadou and Manuel Akanji will both miss the game, due to COVID and a knee injury respectively, which means that Rose will have to choose one of Axel Witsel, Emre Can, or Marin Pongracic to play alongside Mats Hummels on the back line. You’d think Pongracic, the natural center back, would be the choice, but Rose has chosen Witsel in the past, so you never know.

Regarding the midfield, Ruhr Nachrichten has reported that Mahmoud Dahoud is a question mark. Even though he returned to training on Thursday, he still might not play. I’m going to assume the worst and that he’s going to miss the game. Meanwhile, Raphael Guerreiro is ready to play, which means we won’t have to endure Nico Schulz at left back.

Prediction

I think BVB have a solid chance at winning, although I expect the game to be close. I’ll predict a 3-2 win, with goals from Haaland, Reus, and Brandt.