Bayern Munich vs Eintracht Frankfurt: Niko Kovac’s Best Available Bayern Lineup

?Almost a year go to the day, Niko Kovac’s Eintracht Frankfurt side beat Bayern Munich in the DFB-Pokal final, winning his side their first piece of silverware in 20 years.

On Saturday, the tables are turned as his Bayern side welcome Frankfurt to the Allianz Arena, looking to secure their seventh straight Bundesliga title.

Having blown the opportunity to wrap it up last weekend as they could only draw 0-0 with RB Leipzig, Munich will be looking to make no mistake as they face Kovac’s former employers this time round.

Frankfurt have their own ambitions, however, and will look to clinch the last remaining Champions League spot ahead of Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach.

With a few injuries to contend with and a poor performance in front of goal last weekend, Kovac has some decision to make ahead of Saturday’s title-decider. Let’s take a look at how ?Bayern could line up.


Goalkeeper & Defenders

Joshua Kimmich

?Sven Ulreich (GK): Injury to Manuel Neuer earlier in the season has led Kovac to call upon the services of his backup keeper, Ulreich. Performing well for the most part, the German will keep his place once again.

Joshua Kimmich (RB): The 24 year-old has featured in every game for Bayern this season, which is a testament to how well he has developed as a player. His ever-present record will not be broken this weekend.

Niklas Sule (CB): Another young player to have excelled under Kovac’s stewardship is Sule, who has been Munich’s most consistent centre-back this year. The 23 year-old kept a strong Leipzig attack quiet last time out and will have a big task on his hands to pacify the threat of Luka Jovic.

Mats Hummels (CB): The German defender has found himself in and out of Kovac’s team this season, as he has rotated with compatriot ?Jerome Boateng. For such a crucial game, Hummels’ leadership qualities are likely to be enough to see him get the nod against Frankfurt.

David Alaba (LB): Another rock in the Bayern defence, the Austrian has played virtually every game this year. His contribution going forward will be just as crucial as his defensive solidity if his team are to retain their ?Bundesliga title on Saturday.


Midfielders

Thiago Alcantara

?Thiago Alcantara (CM): Usually partnering the reliable Javi Martinez in midfielder, Thiago has been one of Bayern’s most consistent performers. Brilliant at keeping the ball, the Spaniard is a key reason why his side will dominate possession against Frankfurt.

Leon Goretzka (CM): The German has spent much of this season occupying the number ten role, but has resorted to a deeper-lying position following injury to Martinez. The 24 year-old thought he had scored the title-winning goal for Bayern last weekend, only to see his effort ruled out by VAR.

Thomas Muller (CAM): Filling in the attacking midfield role is the always reliable German international, ?Muller. The 29 year-old will look to find pockets of space between the Frankfurt lines and chip in with a goal or assist.


Forwards

Robert Lewandowski

Kingsley Coman (RW): The Frenchman has performed well this season, but perhaps not contributed as much as he would have liked in terms of goals and assists. He will be looking to put that right against Frankfurt.

Serge Gnabry (LW): The former ?Arsenal man on the other hand has contributed his fair share this year, scoring ten goals and providing five assists. 

Robert Lewandowski (ST): Barring a miracle, the Pole will pick up the golden boot once again on Saturday. Leading by a margin of four goals, the former ?Dortmund man will still be desperate to add to his tally of 22 for the season.

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Man Utd ‘Enquire’ About Robert Lewandowski After Striker Stalls on New Bayern Contract

?Manchester United have made an inquiry over the availability of Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski after the striker began doubting his future with the German champions.

The Poland international has been of interest to United for a number of transfer windows, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looking to rebuild his squad after a bitterly disappointing season in which they finished sixth in the top-flight.

Robert Lewandowski

German publication Kicker, as relayed by the Daily Mail, claim Lewandowksi is unsure whether to put pen to paper on a new deal in Bavaria, prompting United to step up their interest for the Bundesliga star. Having spent the last nine seasons in the country, it is thought the former Borussia Dortmund forward could seek a fresh challenge ahead of the new season.

With the 30-year-old’s current deal expiring in the summer of 2021, Die Roten are keen to extend that by a further year, with the club eager to get the forward to sign a new contract after ?Bayern take part in the German Cup final against RB Leipzig at the end of the month.

United’s top scorer in the ?Premier League this season was Paul Pogba, who finished on 13 goals for the season from midfield. As such, Solskjaer is looking to reinforce his front line with an eye on securing an immediate return to the top four and earning a Champions League spot.


This season Lewandowski is set to once again finish the campaign as the Bundesliga top scorer, having netted 22 times already heading into the final round of fixtures. Furthermore, the Pole is also on the verge of winning his seventh German league title – with Niko Kovac’s side requiring just a point from their final game against Eintracht Frankfurt.

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90min’s Definitive European Power Rankings: Week 33

?Following a week in which: 

– Manchester City won a trophy.

– Ajax won a trophy.

– SS Lazio won a trophy.

– Liverpool fans pleaded for a second place trophy.

We, using the filmography of Gus Van Sant, rank the top 15 teams in Europe. Enjoy chief. 


15) Borussia Monchengladbach (Re-Entry)

Josip Drmic

“F**k you money is the ultimate liberator.” (Promised Land)

On the brink of UEFA Champions League qualification = on the brink of a shocking amount of $$$.

To make it to the promised land however, Borussia Monchengladbach need to beat Borussia Dortmund on Saturday…good luck chief! 


14) RB Leipzig (Up 1)

Robert Lewandowski,Willi Orban,Marcel Halstenberg

“How do you like them apples?” (Good Will Hunting) 

Last weekend, Bayern Munich could’ve won the league.

They needed three points.

They didn’t get them.

RB Leipzig – with literally nothing to play for – decided that they would do everything they possibly could to prevent Bayern from winning the Bundesliga for the 1000th consecutive season.

They did. 

Now the Bundesliga title race will go down to the final day of the season. 

Thanks chief! 


13) Juventus (Down 5)

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“I lost something on the way to wherever I am today.” (Last Days)

So they may have WON the league, but after their catastrophic month, it’s time to look at ?what ?Juventus LOST this season: 

– A UEFA Champions League quarter final they should have won. 

– A Coppa Italia quarter final they should have won. 

– Gianluigi Buffon.

– Their soul (?more on that here).

– The stripes on their kit…holy God the new kit is ugly. 

Not great chief. 


12) Benfica (-) 

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“I can be in the NBA. I’m tall, I like to wear shorts. Hook! Hook! Dunk! Dunk! Baby, I’m all about three points.” (Good Will Hunting) 

Benfica’s Primeira Liga form:

Played: 33.

Won: 27.

Drew: 3.

Lost: 3.

Goals Scored: 99.

Goals Conceded: 30. 

Goal Difference: 69.

Encarnados are ALL ABOUT THREE POINTS. 

Nice work chief.


11) SS Lazio (New Entry) 

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“I’m pumped! Let the healing begin!” (Good Will Hunting)

SS Lazio have done it. They’ve achieved the impossible. In an era of unrivalled Juventus dominance, they’ve won a trophy in Italy (the Coppa Italia to be exact).

It’s a miracle!

Let the healing of Serie A begin chief!


10) Borussia Dortmund (Up 1) 

Mario Goetze

“If you were gonna fight them, why didn’t you fight them back there? We got snacks now!” (Good Will Hunting) 

So it turns out that ?Borussia Dortmund didn’t ‘?absolutely f**k it’.

The disastrous draw with Werder Bremen was seemingly the death knell of BVB’s Bundesliga title hopes, but last weekend they were thrown a lifeline by Bayern Munich. 

Now, two points separate the top two.

Now, the Bundesliga title race will go down to the wire.

Now, a win over ‘Gladbach and a Bayern defeat at the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt will send the BuLi title to Dortmund.

It’s all to play for chief. 


9) Bayern Munich (Down 2) 

Thomas Mueller

“Winning isn’t my strong suit.” (Milk)

Could’ve, should’ve, would’ve (most other years)…but didn’t.

?Bayern Munich needed three points away at Leipzig to win the Bundesliga, and as you now already now, they didn’t get them.

Buck up your ideas chief!


8) Barcelona (Up 1) 

Lionel Messi,Angel Gavilan

“You don’t know about real loss, ’cause it only occurs when you’ve loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you’ve ever dared to love anybody that much. And look at you…I don’t see an intelligent, confident man…I see a cocky, scared sh**less kid. But you’re a genius Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you.” (Good Will Hunting) 

In the aftermath of their catastrophic Champions League exit at the hands of Liverpool, the Catalan exclaimed that it was “THE CLUB’S DARKEST HOUR”.

But now that the dust is settled, it’s explicitly clear that not all things are lost.

?Barcelona did win La Liga.

Barcelona will probably win the Copa del Rey.

Barcelona have signed the most exciting young midfielder in Europe – Frenkie de Jong.

Barcelona look set to sign Antoine Griezmann.

You don’t know about real loss. Real loss is losing to Derby County and being resigned to yet another season in the Championship chief (pour one out for Leeds United).


7) Atalanta (Up 3) 

Berat Djimsiti,Duvan Zapata

“You know what? You can shove your medal up your f**king ass! Because I don’t give a sh*t about your medal.” (Good Will Hunting) 

The Coppa Italia final defeat was truly heartbreaking for Atalanta fans, but all will be forgotten if they can clinch UEFA Champions League qualification in two weeks’ time. 

All that stands in their way is Juventus and Sassoulo. Win out and Atalanta will qualify for Europe’s premier competition for the first time in their history. 

You can do it chief! 


6) Arsenal (Down 1)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

“I don’t know what to say anymore. But where we are now, where we’re headed! We might be betting more than we think. Everything that we have is on the table now. And that’s just not ours to lose.” (Promised Land) 

It’s explicitly clear that ?Arsenal’s whole season, and the season after that, and possibly even the season after that, hinges upon one thing: the Europa League final.

Win, and the Gunners will be qualify for the UEFA Champions League and have a boatload of money to spend in the summer transfer window. 

Lose, and Arsenal will be resigned to the Europa League for another season and will have £40m to spend in the summer transfer window…which isn’t a lot chief. 


5) Chelsea (Down 1)

Maurizio Sarri

“You’re not perfect, sport, and let me save you the suspense: this girl you’ve met, she’s not perfect either. But the question is whether or not you’re perfect for each other.” (Good Will Hunting) 

The haters will hate, but one can’t deny the fact that Maurizio Sarri has actually done quite well in his first season at ?Chelsea.

– Third place finish.

– Champions League qualification. 

– Europa League final. 

It’s gone quite well if you ask me chief. 


4) Ajax (Up 2)

FBL-NED-EREDIVISIE-GRAAFSCHAP-AJAX

“You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.” (Good Will Hunting) 

The last second UEFA Champions League semi final exit at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur at the Johan Cruyff ArenA when they had held a healthy lead in the tie was a mouthful, and truly heart-wrenching. 

But when Ajax fans look back on the 2018/19 season, they will do so fondly. They’ll think back to the win over Real Madrid, the win over Juventus, the KNVB Cup final, and their reclaiming of the Eredivisie title. 

It’s been a great year; enjoy it chief. 


3) Liverpool (Down 1) 

Jurgen Klopp

“You know, it’s kinda like… Success is subjective, you know. It could be an opinion.” (Last Days)

Was this season a success?

If ?Liverpool win the UEFA Champions League, it most certainly was. 

But if they don’t, how long can Liverpool fans really enjoy the fact that they accumulated the third highest points tally in Premier League history? Who knows chief! 


2) Tottenham Hotspur (Down 1) 

Christian Eriksen

“Without hope, life’s not worth living.” (Milk)

?Tottenham Hotspur fans, I know it’s nice to have made it to the UEFA Champions League (congratulations on that), but do you know what would be even nicer? 

WINNING THE UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE. 

Tottenham fans, it’s time to get out the Glenn Hoddle replica jerseys, the Audere Est Facere banners, the navy flares (no, not the clothing item, please God not the clothing item) and it’s time to believe. 

It may not mean more™, but it still means a lot chief. 


1) Manchester City (Up 2) 

FBL-ENG-PR-BRIGHTON-MAN CITY

“Tonight the laws of God, and the cultural values of man have been vindicated. The people of Dade County, the Normal majority, have said ‘Enough, enough, enough.” (Milk) 

?Manchester City’s Premier League form since February: 

Played: 14.

Won: 14.

Drew: 0.

Lost: 0.

Goals Scored: 32. 

Goals Conceded: 4

Goal Difference: 28. 

It’s hard to compete with perfection, and that’s exactly what Manchester City were when it mattered most. 

They. Were. Perfect. Chief. 


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Bayern Munich vs Eintracht Frankfurt Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

?Bayern Munich host Champions League hopefuls Eintracht Frankfurt at the Allianz Arena on Saturday afternoon, as they look to seal their seventh successive Bundesliga title.

Bayern had the chance to clinch the championship last weekend, but a resolute RB Leipzig side prevented them from doing so, as they had to settle for a hard-fought 0-0 draw.

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-LEIPZIG-BAYERN-MUNICH

Standing in their way this weekend is Eintracht Frankfurt, who themselves have a Champions League spot to play for. However, the dark horses of the Bundesliga will rue their recent run of poor results which have led to them fighting for a Champions League berth on the final day of the season. 

With Borussia Dortmund’s goal difference far inferior to Bayern, Niko Kovac will know his side will only need a draw to seal the league title, barring an unlikely 17-goal swing between the two sides.

Check out 90min’s preview of the game below.


Where to Watch

?

?When Is Kick Off? Saturday 18th May?
?What Time Is Kick Off? 14:30 BST?
?Where Is It Being Played? Allianz Arena?
?Live Stream/TV Channel? BT Sport Extra 4?
?Referee? ?TBC

Team News

?

?Bayern are having to contend with a few minor injuries and knocks ahead of their title-decider. Both Thiago Alcantara and Javi Martinez are nursing respective knee problems and could be missing from the middle of the park against Frankfurt. Their fitness will be monitored closely by the club medical team before this tie.

?James Rodriguez is still struggling with the calf problem that has kept him out of Munich’s last two fixtures, though he is hopeful of making it back in time for Saturday. Goalkeeper ?Manuel Neuer remains out with the hamstring injury suffered earlier this year.

James Rodriguez

Sebastian Rode’s injury-laden season looks set to continue in the same vein, as the former ?Dortmund man is set to sit out of the Bayern clash with a knee injury.

Aside from Rode, Frankfurt boss Adi Huetter h?as no new injury concerns ahead of this clash, though he may look to change things up after his side’s recent slide in form.


Predicted Lineups

?

?Bayern Munich Ulreich; Kimmich, Sule, Hummels, Alaba; Alcantara, Goretzka, Coman, Muller, Gnabry; Lewandowski?.
?Eintracht Frankfurt ?Trapp; N’Dicka, Hinteregger, Abraham; Fernandes, Da Costa, Hasebe, Kostic, Gacinovic; Jovic, Rebic.

Head to Head Record

?

As you would expect, Bayern Munich have the better record in games between the two sides, having won 22 out of a possible 29. Frankfurt on the other hand have won just three.

?To give Eintracht fans (and Dortmund fans) even less hope, the away side have come up against Bayern twice already this season, and lost by an aggregate score of 8-0. A 5-0 humbling in the German Super Cup was followed by a comfortable 3-0 victory for Bayern in the league a few months later.

TOPSHOT-FBL-GER-CUP-FRANKFURT

One small ray of hope for Frankfurt comes from when the two sides met almost exactly one year ago in the DfB Pokal final when they emerged as 3-1 victors at the Olympiastadion in Berlin. A repeat of this scoreline on Saturday would give the away team a chance of a ?Champions League spot, and could potentially see Bayern concede the league title to Dortmund.


Recent Form

?

Victory for Kovac’s men last weekend would have seen them crowned ?Bundesliga champions with one game to spare. However, Bayern were denied their win, as they could only muster a goalless draw with high-flying Leipzig. The title-holders thought they’d won it, but saw Leon Goretzka’s second half goal ruled out by VAR.

That result follows a run of positive results during a time when they have not been performing at their best. Were it not for a draw away to strugglers Nurnberg, the Munich side would already have the title sewn up.

Leon Goretzka,David Alaba,Jerome Boateng

Frankfurt on the other hand have suffered a dismal drop in form at just the wrong time of the season. Having looked set for a top four finish for much of this campaign, results of the past few weeks now see them as outsiders to clinch fourth spot.

Owing partly to their Europa League distractions, Eintracht have gone five league games without a win, losing three in the process. Only SC Freiburg boast a worse record over the same period in the Bundesliga.

Here’s how the two sides have fared in their previous five fixtures:

?Bayern Munich ?Eintracht Frankfurt
?RB Leipzig 0-0 Bayern (11/05) ?Frankfurt 2-0 Mainz (12/05)
?Bayern 3-1 Hannover (04/05) ?Chelsea 1-1 Frankfurt (09/05)
?Nurnberg 1-1 Bayern (28/04) ?Leverkusen 6-1 Frankfurt (05/05)
?Bremen 2-3 Bayern (24/04) ?Frankfurt 1-1 Chelsea (02/05)
?Bayern 1-0 Bremen (20/04) ?Frankfurt 0-0 Hertha Berlin (27/04)

Prediction

?

?Bayern enter this weekend as huge favourites to win this tie and wrap up yet another German league title. What could play on the minds of the home team is knowing that a draw will also be enough to clinch the title, barring a dramatic swing in goal difference.

Recent results mean Frankfurt have it all to do and they will need all three points to have any hope of gaining fourth spot. You can expect them to keep things tight at the Allianz Arena and attempt to snatch a 1-0 victory.

Leon Goretzka,Robert Lewandowski,Kingsley Coman

In what is likely to a feisty affair, Bayern’s experience in pressure games like this one will see them claim narrow victory.

Prediction: Bayern Munich 2-1 Eintracht Frankfurt


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5 Key Battles Which Will Decide the Champions League Final

?For just the second time in the history of the Champions League, two teams from the Premier League will go head to head to be crowned as European champions in the biggest game in club football.

Liverpool staged a breathtaking comeback in their second leg against Barcelona to book their place in the final for the second year in a row, while Tottenham went one better by turning their semi-final with Ajax on its head in just 40 second-half minutes.

Both sides have faced each other 105 times across all competitions over the years, with Liverpool coming out on top in over half of their meetings, but history will go out the window when the Premier League giants face up at the Wanda Metropolitano on June 1.

Here are five key battles which could swing the final one way or the other.


Mauricio Pochettino vs Jürgen Klopp

FBL-ENG-PR-TOTTENHAM-LIVERPOOL

Two of the brightest minds in the managerial side of football, and half of the Premier League’s manager of the season contenders, will meet each other on opposite ends of the dugout for the tenth time when the Champions League final rolls around next month.

It won’t be a stylistic clash in the Spanish capital, with Jürgen Klopp’s famed ‘gegenpressing’ not too dissimilar to Mauricio Pochettino’s high-pressing and attacking system that he employs in north London.

But while similarities between managers can often throw up a damp squib as teams cancel each other out, matches between Pochettino and Klopp have seen 24 goals fly into the back of the net since their first meeting in October 2015 – the only goalless match between both head coaches.


Kieran Trippier vs Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah

Last year’s final against Real Madrid was meant to be the Mohamed Salah show following his 44 goal haul at Liverpool, but a first-half injury after his coming together with Sergio Ramos nipped his final in the bud just 30 minutes into the game.

The Egypt international will now have the chance to really leave his mark in European football history for Liverpool, and Salah will be licking his lips at the prospect at facing one of Tottenham’s most out of form players.

Kieran Trippier’s fall from grace since his free-kick against Croatia has been astronomical and even during Tottenham’s win over Ajax, the 28-year-old was a weak link in defence, popping up with two errors which led to the Dutch side’s opening goals.


Harry Kane vs Virgil van Dijk

Virgil Van Dijk

Although Harry Kane is still an injury doubt for the Champions League final right now, Tottenham’s star striker has always been able to return to full fitness earlier than expected and it’s already been speculated that he’ll be back in the matchday squad on June 1.

The 25-year-old is Tottenham’s highest scoring player ever against Liverpool, level on five goals with Steve Archibald, and he’s found the back of the net more times in this fixture than any other player who could feature in the final.

But standing in Kane’s way will be the Premier League’s Player of the Season, Virgil van Dijk.

The Dutchman, who hasn’t lost a match against Kane since 2016, has almost single-handedly turned Liverpool into title contenders this season, helping to reduce the number of goals which the Reds have conceded by 16 goals in the league.


Moussa Sissoko vs Georginio Wijnaldum

Moussa Sissoko

One of the most important and overlooked battles of the Champions League final this season will be between two former Newcastle United teammates, Moussa Sissoko and Georginio Wijnaldum.

Both players are the legs in midfield for their respective sides and they help to bring a tireless work ethic onto the pitch, often being the key in turning defence into attack.

They’ve made 87 appearances between them this season, establishing themselves as genuinely irreplaceable parts of the first team at both Liverpool and Tottenham.


Dele Alli vs Fabinho

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It hasn’t been a golden year for Tottenham playmaker Dele Alli this season, failing to be involved in more than 10 Premier League goals for the first time since his move to north London in 2015.

But he highlighted just how important he is in their current set up during their win in the second leg against Ajax, assisting two of Lucas Moura’s three goals which booked the club’s place in the Champions League final.

It’s not been too dissimilar for Liverpool’s summer signing Fabinho, who took months to get up to speed on Merseyside and featured in just half of the club’s games during the first half of the season.

But since the turn of the year, the Brazil international has announced himself as one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League, also proving to be a key part of Liverpool’s system during their route to a third straight European final.


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