14:30 (BST); Saturday 30th September; Commerzbank-Arena (Frankfurt am Main, Germany)
Eintracht Frankfurt hope to make the home field advantage count for something as they welcome Stuttgart in week 7 of the Bundesliga action. Die Adler are yet to secure a point on their own turf with all 7 coming on the road this season.
They play a Stuttgart side that has picked up their winnings in an entirely different manner with all 7 of their points so far coming at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. Who will break their current pointless streaks?
Last Time Out
RB Leipzig 2-1 Eintracht Frankfurt
Niko Kovač’s team made the journey east where they took on RB Leipzig on Matchday 6. Die Adler have collected all their points on the road but would fall behind midway through the first half when Jean-Kévin Augustin tapped in from close range.
Frankfurt were second best for most of the clash and fell even further behind on 67 minutes when Timo Werner scored leaving a helpless Lukas Hradecky rooted to the spot.
However, the Leipzig club continued in their recent inability to put games to bed as Frankfurt pulled a goal back when Marius Wolf delivered a pinpoint cross to find Ante Rebić for his first goal of the season. In the end, though, it made very little difference and Frankfurt eventually succumbed.
Stuttgart 0-0 Augsburg
Stuttgart returned home hopeful of continuing their unbeaten start at home as they welcomed high-flying Augsburg to the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
In a relatively quiet contest, Augsburg had the best chance of the first half when former Stuttgart junior Rani Khedira was denied by a good save by Ron-Robert Zieler.
The best chance of the game fell to Daniel Ginczek, but the striker, who was making his return from injury, couldn’t connect.
Eintracht Frankfurt Lineup
Hoping to break their pointless start at home, Eintracht Frankfurt will be desperate to enter the international break on a high. Gelson Fernandes will be out for several weeks due to a muscular tear and Mijat Gaćinović returns to fill the void in midfield. Kevin-Prince Boateng will return to the starting lineup with Daichi Kamada dropping to the bench.
After a gruelling clash last time out, Hannes Wolf will hope his side can enter the international break with an additional three points to their name. Holger Badstuber made his return from injury and will once again be the focal point Stuttgart’s defensive three. Benjamin Pavard deputised in midfield and will join the young Argentinian Santiago Ascacibar who has impressed in recent weeks.
Key Battle: Jonathan de Guzman vs Benjamin Pavard
Jonathan de Guzman has settled well into the Bundesliga after joining in the transfer window from Napoli. So far this season the former Swansea midfielder has featured in all six of Eintracht Frankfurt’s clashes, completing 146 passes with a completion rate of 81%. The Dutchman was building an excellent partnership with Gelson Fernandes but, with his injury, Niko Kovač will look to de Guzman to help with Frankfurt’s build-up play.
Young French defender Benjamin Pavard already looks at home in German football. In his second season with Stuttgart after coming through Lille’s academy, the 21-year-old has made 28 appearances for Hannes Wolf’s side. Previously Pavard has featured as a centre back or as a right back but, with injuries in midfield, Pavard will fill in alongside Santiago Ascacibar. Pavard is reliable and is good in possession. This season, Pavard has completed 370 passes at a 90% completion rate.
Both sides have had difficulties finding the back of the net this season. And, as Bundesliga strugglers FC Köln know all too well, goal scoring is fundamental to survival in the league. Eintracht Frankfurt have just the four goals this season with three coming on their travels. In the course of their return season, Stuttgart only have three goals to their credit and have failed to score in half of their games this term.
Sebastien Haller and Simon Terodde came into the season off the back of league campaigns where they had scored 16 and 25 goals respectively but have only managed a single goal between themselves so far. Haller with that goal against Köln. Looking long term, both sides need to find their scoring boots to avoid facing the drop.
All about defence
Both Eintracht Frankfurt and Stuttgart have made it quite clear that they will be taking a ‘defence first’ approach to the Bundesliga this season. Stuttgart have only conceded seven goals from their opening six matches with the most coming on Matchday 3 against Schalke. All the goals Stuttgart have conceded have been on the road with the side keeping three clean sheets at home.
By contrast, Frankfurt have shipped five goals this term with three coming on their own patch. On two occasions, they have conceded twice whilst Wolfsburg scored once. Like Stuttgart, Frankfurt have kept three clean sheets this season.
Prediction: Eintracht Frankfurt 0-0 Stuttgart
Expect a tight and cagey contest with limited chances. For those who like defensive battles, this clash is very much the game to watch. Opportunities will come on the counter-attack and whoever can capitalise on their chances will be in the best position to win.
Can Eintracht Frankfurt secure their first points at home or will it be Stuttgart collect their first away points of the season? Let us know in the comments section below
Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?