Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Bundesliga clash between Eintracht Frankfurt and Schalke 04, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Eintracht Frankfurt take on Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga on Sunday, with the visitors buoyed by moving off the foot of the table after recording their first Bundesliga win in almost an entire year last weekend.
Frankfurt have been boosted themselves in recent days by announcing the return of striker Luka Jovic on loan from Real Madrid.
The Serbian striker may have to be patient in terms of reclaiming a space in Frankfurt’s first XI, though, with Adi Hutter‘s side recording three wins in a row to move into the top half of the Bundesliga.
However, after selling Bas Dost to Club Brugge, there was a clear space in the squad to fill, so Hutter and Frankfurt fans alike will be delighted that they have managed to fill it with a high pedigree player who knows the club inside and out.
Moreover, despite beating struggling Mainz 05 2-0 last weekend, Die Adler were far from impressive, relying on two questionable refereeing decisions to help Andre Silva add two goals to his growing tally for the season from the penalty spot.
Hutter may be more encouraged by the fact that his side have only conceded one goal in their recent three victories, having failed to keep a clean sheet all season beforehand.
Schalke, meanwhile, avoided matching Tasmania Berlin’s 55-year record of 31 consecutive winless Bundesliga matches by thrashing Hoffenheim 4-0 last weekend.
While Sebastian Hoeness‘s side’s injury crisis was always likely to provide Schalke with a golden opportunity to break their hoodoo, few could have seen the margin of victory coming.
Amine Harit quietened any doubters questioning his presence in the side after his disciplinary issues in recent months by putting on an absolute clinic of playmaking ability, playing three perfectly weighted passes in behind Hoffenheim’s defence into the path of Matthew Hoppe, with the American striker sensationally scoring a hat-trick of goals to simultaneously provide a hat-trick of assists for Harit.
The 19-year-old showed tremendous composure each time he found himself through on goal, dumbfounding Oliver Baumann with two deliciously dinked finishes and rounding the German goalkeeper on the other occasion. Harit confirmed the rout with a well-deserved goal of his own with 11 minutes remaining, with Sead Kolasinac also having a superb second debut for the club after re-joining on loan from Arsenal.
Eintracht Frankfurt Bundesliga form: DLDWWW
Eintracht Frankfurt form (all competitions): LDWWWL
Schalke 04 Bundesliga form: LDLLLW
Schalke 04 form (all competitions): DLLWLW
Frankfurt may be without Amin Younes, who has made a fantastic impact in recent matches, after the attacking midfielder picked up a calf strain. If so, Jovic will compete with Aymen Barkok for a place in the starting XI.
Schalke’s injury crisis continues to make life harder for Gross, with Alessandro Schopf, Steven Skrzybski, Omar Mascarell, Rabbi Matondo, Nassim Boujellab, Kilian Ludewig, Salif Sane and Goncalo Pacienca all unlikely to travel to Frankfurt due to injury.
Despite Harit being provided with a second chance after a training ground bust-up with assistant manager Naldo, Nabil Bentaleb appears to have no future at the club having been shunned since his involvement in the same incident.
Eintracht Frankfurt possible starting lineup:
Trapp; Hinteregger, Abraham, N’Dicka; Durm, Rode, Sow, Kostic; Kamada, Barkok; Silva
Schalke 04 possible starting lineup:
Fahrmann; Thiaw, Kabak, Nastasic, Kolasinac; Stambouli, Serdar; Raman, Uth, Harit; Hoppe
We say: Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 Schalke 04
Despite Schalke’s evident improvement against Hoffenheim, we expect Frankfurt to narrowly make it four consecutive wins on Sunday.
Silva is likely to have a little too much quality for the visitors to be able to handle, with the performances of creative playmakers Harit and Daichi Kamada key for either side on the day.
Top betting tip
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