Happy Friday everyone!
I really feel like I’m “The Preview Guy” at this point, and you know what? I enjoy it quite a lot, and I hope you guys do too! This preview will be a little longer, but we’re playing one of my favorite Bundesliga sides, so this write-up gets some extra love.
The fixtures are coming in thick and fast at this point, and on Saturday, Die Schwarzgelben will travel to Frankfurt for a big clash at the Deutsche Bank Park. The boys in black and yellow had a great showing against Manchester City in the midweek, and hopefully the team will be able to build on their recent performances.
Personally, I’m really excited for this match. Frankfurt is a very entertaining team, and the meetings between The Eagles and Borussia Dortmund almost always contain a bunch of goals. In recent years, Frankfurt have slowly risen in the table, and they even managed to claim the Europa League trophy last year, beating the likes of Barcelona and West Ham in the process.
I very much consider this a Bundesliga top match at this point, and The Black and Yellows will without a doubt need to perform at their highest level in order to claim points in Frankfurt.
Let’s take a step back. It’s the start of the 2021/22 season, and Dortmund had just appointed Marco Rose from Borussia Mönchengladbach. Frankfurts coach at the time, Adi Hütter, would join Gladbach, and Wolfsburg’s Oliver Glasner would join The Eagles. This seemed like a weird rotation in many ways - Hütter had done wonders with Frankfurt and qualified for Europe, while Gladbach were struggling. Oliver Glasner was considered a good coach, but it didn’t seem like an improvement over Hütter, when he was appointed at the time.
Hütter proceeded to finish 10th with Gladbach in the 21/22 season, which got him sacked. Oliver Glasner struggled in the Bundesliga, and Frankfurt ended the season as 11th in the standings. This would not matter, as Glasner delivered an absolute miracle and won the Europa League with Frankfurt - their first European title since 1980.
Now let’s fast forward to the present. The Eagles are currently sitting in 3rd place in the Bundesliga with the second highest goal tally (24) behind Bayern Munich (32). They still have every chance at proceeding in this year’s Champions League, only sitting one point behind group leaders Tottenham Hotspurs, and they are in great form in the Bundesliga, having only lost one on their last five games, winning the remaining four.
Frankfurt have managed all this without their talisman Filip Kostic, who left for Juventus at the start of this season. They have done a great job in keeping star player Daichi Kamada, and they’ve done some shrewd business in picking up Mario Götze and Randal Kolo Muani for almost nothing.
Until the press conference later today, we won’t know the status with Rapha Guerreiro, but I assume he will not make the trip to Frankfurt. But you know what? I’m okay, because Thorgan Hazard did very well against Manchester City in the midweek, and it’s not like he has never played left back in his life.
Other than that, I have nothing to add. Salih Özcan should be ready to re-enter the starting XI, and the rest of our backline has done great recently. Everyone who were involved against Manchester City should be good to go as well.
Player to watch: Jesper Lindstrøm
Look out for this man. The most in-form Danish player at the moment (maybe next to Christian Eriksen), and a no-brainer for the Danish would cup squad. His directness has caused problems for every defender in the league at this point, and he currently averages a goal contribution every 127th minute. His finishing ability has improved a lot lately (look at the first goal against Gladbach on MD 11), and he’s very fast.
I’ve taken the liberty of looking at some statistics, and according to Understat, Frankfurt have scored almost six goals more than the expected amount. With that said, they have also let in more goals than expected, so maybe their unsustainability will all even out in the end. Kidding aside, Frankfurt is a great team, and they have only lost one home game this season?
I feel like Die Schwarzgelben are currently in an upswing, and this will hopefully they’ll be able to ride the wave on Saturday. Our defense has been looking very solid, and our attack has been slowly winding up.
Scoreline prediction: 3-1 for BVB.