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High-flying Eintracht

Talented youngsters led by in-form Alex Meier

Appearing at a press conference on Thursday, Armin Veh was relaxed and confident, and unsurprisingly so: his Eintracht Frankfurt side have amassed a fully unexpected 20 points from ten matches this season, and lie third in the Bundesliga. The trip to Bayern is a shade less daunting than normal, as the promoted side from Hesse have nothing whatsoever to lose at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.

Furthermore, while Bayern were preoccupied with the Champions League on Wednesday evening, the Eintracht squad were at home watching on TV. Had Veh followed Munich's coruscating demonstration of attacking power, a reporter asked. “No, I didn't. I want to go into this match with a clear head," the coach said poker-faced.

Veh bowled over by Bayern

But his features soon cracked into a grin and the press room filled with laughter. Naturally, the wily boss closely followed and analysed FCB's meeting with Lille on Wednesday evening, and naturally he was very impressed. “The magic they work up front really is exceptional. Basically, they should have got into double figures," he said.

The 51-year-old coach is experienced, and successful with it. He knows what he's talking about, and he made no secret of his admiration for Bundesliga leaders Munich: “Before the campaign, I didn't think they'd be so strong, but in fact they do seem to be in a league of their own." Those kind words served to emphasise Bayern's role as favourites and of course remove all the pressure from his own team, but secretly Veh is plotting to come away with a result from Munich on Saturday.

Matmour for Occean?

After two games without a win, the coach now feels his team “have more bite and freshness in training," as a clutch of players have emerged from brief troughs. “I don't think it's the right method to pull everyone back and defend, and that's not what we plan to do either," he announced, “we'll try and play an active role." Eintracht are likely to be at full strength, with the only definite absentee Carlos Zambrano (broken toe). Up front, Karim Matmour could take over from out-of-sorts Olivier Occean.