Eintracht v Bayern – Commerzbank-Arena at 14:30 GMT
After nine rounds of Bundesliga action, Bayern Munich are only one point off the top. The Bavarians are sitting in an ominous position but seasoned German football fans have reason to be hopeful; this current Bayern team are far from the well-oiled machine of previous incarnations.
Seven-time champions on the spin, the Munich men are not the runaway juggernaut they once were. Sure, Bayern briefly went top after beating Union Berlin last weekend when Robert Lewandowski set a new record by scoring in a ninth straight game from the start of the season. But they weren’t comfortable.
Niko Kovac’s troops have beaten a two-goal handicap just three times in domestic action this season and their lack of killer instinct was apparent again on Tuesday night as the all-conquering Bavarians were only six minutes away from suffering the mother of all upsets at second-tier Bochum in the DFB Pokal.
Frankfurt can cause Bayern problems
Only five points separate the top-10 in a congested Bundesliga and Eintracht Frankfurt are in the mix. The Eagles saw star trio Sebastien Haller, Luka Jovic and Ante Rebic sold in the summer but canny tactician Adi Hutter has worked minor miracles to seamlessly slot new boys Andre Silva and Bas Dost in alongside Goncalo Paciencia in a threat-filled front three.
Silva, Dost and Paciencia have combined to grab 11 of Frankfurt’s 16 league goals with Filip Kostic continuing to wreak havoc from his role out wide. The latter pair were particularly eye-catching when Die Adler put Leverkusen to the sword a fortnight ago during a 3-0 victory, with Hutter admitting, “The first half was definitely our best of the season so far.”
The hosts have realistic expectations for a top-six challenge this term and should be confident of at least keeping Saturday afternoon’s contest competitive. After all, Eintracht have W11-D6-L5 in Bundesliga battles at their Commerzbank-Arena base, scoring in all bar three of those 22 outings as hosts.
The betting angle
When notching on home soil, Frankfurt have lost by a margin of two goals or more just once and so there has to be merit in supporting Hutter’s hosts with a +1.5 start on the Asian Handicap line at 1.87. Die Adler are already amongst the Bundesliga’s front-runners for generating open play goalscoring chances and aren’t a million miles off Bayern across a variety of underlying data metrics.
What’s more, the visitors have been far from ruthless and untouchable on their travels at leading Bundesliga outfits over the past five years. Bayern have won just three of their last 16 at top-four finishers, scoring at least twice in four of those fixtures, suggesting a close contest could be on the cards on Saturday.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Eintracht Frankfurt +1.50 at 1.870
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.