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Eintracht Frankfurt v Bayern Munich (Sat 2.30pm)
Niko Kovac was one of seven candidates that Kicker magazine named for the Bayern job this week. That’s testament in itself to the good work he’s done at Eintracht Frankfurt.
His best defender last season Jesus Vallejo returned to Real Madrid in the summer whilst playmaker Marco Fabian was ruled out for a lengthy period of time just before the start of the season.
Yet neither of their absences have been felt this season. Going forward, Kevin-Prince Boateng has settled into the front line which has been ably led by Sebastian Haller whilst the Frankfurt defence is second only to Bayern Munich in terms of goals conceded.
Victory at Hertha last weekend saw Boateng strike in impressive fashion for the second away game running, meaning Frankfurt actually have the best away record in the division at present.
They can preserve that as long as they can stop Bayern Munich from winning this weekend. To be fair, they have held Bayern to draws in each of their past two games in Frankfurt but that may just be beyond them this time.
The league leaders arrive off the back of a 3-1 victory over PSG, a win which proved in the words of Thomas Müller that “we are still FC Bayern.”
Bayern had talked up the need for a big performance beforehand and they delivered, with Corentin Tolisso producing his best display for the club to date.
Having been rotated during the week, Javi Martinez, Thomas Müller, Jerome Boateng and Arturo Vidal are likely to return to the starting line-up whilst the in-form Kingsley Coman might be given a break.
Hannover struggled to cope with Bayern going forward last weekend and that’s likely to be the same for Frankfurt this weekend.
Monchengladbach v Schalke (Sat 5.30pm)
The previous eight Bundesliga teams to beat Bayern Munich had failed to follow that up with a win in their next game. Gladbach kept that run going with a 3-0 defeat to Wolfsburg having beaten the champions the previous weekend.
It was a result very much in line with the way Dieter Hecking’s side have played for much of this season – consistently inconsistent.
It didn’t help that they were 2-0 down after 25 minutes that in itself represented a recurring problem for Gladbach. In the seven games they haven’t won this season, they’ve conceded in the opening half hour in six of them.
The key to success against Schalke might also lay in the return of Christoph Kramer in the heart of midfield. That would allow Matthias Ginter to move back to centre back.
They’ll need to be wary of Schalke’s prowess from set-pieces too, with Domenico Tedesco's side scoring half of their 22 goals from dead ball situations this season.
Last weekend was very much a hangover after their spectacular 4-4 draw against Dortmund as they drew 2-2 against rock bottom Cologne.
Midfielder Leon Goretzka is likely to miss the game at the Borussia Park with a calf problem but Schalke had managed to cope with his absence for a few games in November.
That Gladbach are fourth with a negative goal difference tells you how suspect their defending been in quite a few games this season. Expect Schalke to expose that here but for the game still to be relatively even.
- Gladbach 2, Schalke 2 (10-1, Unibet)
- Stindl to score first (21-4, Unibet)
- Over 2.5 goals (71-100, Unibet)
Munich-born Raphael Honigstein writes about football for Germany’s biggest broadsheet, Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Guardian, ESPNFC and his tips appear here thanks to our football partner at MrFixitsTips, Unibet. They're making a big splash in the UK betting scene and if you join them today you can claim up to £30 in Welcome Bonuses when you deposit and place your first bet.