Eintracht Frankfurt VS Bayer Leverkusen, a close game

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Match Time:1/2/2021 22:30 Saturday  (GMT+8)

German Bundesliga --  Eintracht Frankfurt   VS   Bayer Leverkusen

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Eintracht Frankfurt host Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga on Saturday, with the visitors looking to return to the top of the table with a victory.

Frankfurt, meanwhile, signed off 2020 with a 2-0 win at Augsburg to move back into the top half.

 

Match preview

Having failed to win any of their previous nine matches, Adi Hutter's side's win at Augsburg was desperately required in order to get Frankfurt's season moving in the right direction.

It is not as though they have been disastrous by any means; indeed, no side in Europe's top five leagues has drawn more than Frankfurt this season, which shows they are a tough side to beat.

However, given the regularity with which Andre Silva has found the back of the net, three wins from 13 matches is a poor return. The Portugal forward has scored nine goals in 12 Bundesliga games this season and, although he did not add to his tally against Augsburg, it was Silva's strike which deflected in off Raphael Framberger to open the scoring for his side.

Hutter's side are generally more proficient on the break, as they showed when getting in behind Augsburg time and time again after taking the lead, so they will certainly be looking to open the scoring once more against a Leverkusen side who like to dominate possession but can leave gaps in defence at times.

It has been a fantastic season thus far for Leverkusen, who finished top of their Europa League group to progress to the knockout stages and headed into their calendar year-ending clash with Bayern Munich top of the Bundesliga.

After Patrik Schick opened the scoring with a superb volley from the edge of the area after a nicely-worked short corner in the 14th minute, Peter Bosz could have been forgiven for thinking that his side were set to end the year in pole position, especially given that a draw against the Bavarians would have been enough to do so.

However, Robert Lewandowski showed precisely why he has been the best player in the world throughout 2020, pouncing on a Lukas Hradecky mistake to nod into an empty net at the back post to level proceedings heading into the half-time interval, before cruelly sinking Leverkusen hearts to wrap up a 2-1 victory for Bayern with a deflected effort in the dying stages of the game after Jonathan Tah had carelessly lost the ball in his own defensive third.

Bosz must ensure that his players' heads remain high despite the gruelling defeat, especially with some more tough fixtures upcoming. Indeed, six of Leverkusen's next seven opponents currently occupy a top-half position in the table, including Frankfurt on Saturday, so they must continue to perform to a high level to keep pace with the European champions.

 

Eintracht Frankfurt Bundesliga form: DDDLDW

Bayer Leverkusen Bundesliga form: WWDWWL

Bayer Leverkusen form (all competitions): DWWWWL

 

Team News

Leverkusen's Lars Bender celebrates after scoring his team's second goal against Mainz during their Bundesliga match on September 21, 2013

Frankfurt are likely to remain without Felix Irorere and former Newcastle United full-back Jetro Willems through a lack of match fitness.

Central defender Ragnar Ache is ruled out with a hamstring injury, with Hutter perhaps tempted to recall Bas Dost to the starting XI, having only used the target man from the bench at Augsburg.

Leverkusen's long-term injury list remains lengthy, making their achievements so far this season all the more remarkable, with Santiago Arias, Sven Bender, Charles Aranguiz, Paulinho, Exequiel Palacios and Lars Bender all ruled out of the trip to Frankfurt.

Daley Sinkgraven and Wendell are unlikely to feature due to coronavirus, leaving Bosz with a headache at left-back. Right-back Tin Jedvaj may be asked to do a job there for the time being.

 

Eintracht Frankfurt possible starting lineup:

Trapp; Abraham, Hasebe, Hinteregger; Durm, Sow, Rode, Kostic; Kamada; Barkok, Silva

Bayer Leverkusen possible starting lineup:

Hradecky; Dragovic, Tah, Tapsoba, Jedvaj; Wirtz, Baumgartlinger, Amiri; Bailey, Schick, Diaby

 

Eintracht Frankfurt 2-2 Bayer Leverkusen

Eintracht Frankfurt VS Bayer Leverkusen, a close game

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