Created on 01-11-2019 at 16:30 PM
Between the DFB Cup match away to Bochum and the next Champions League match against Olympiacos next week, a tough task awaits FC Bayern in the Bundesliga on Saturday. The German record champions aim to consolidate their position in the top group and ideally improve it when they take on Europa League hopefuls Eintracht Frankfurt (follow the action in English from 15.30 CEST with our exclusive fcbayern.com live updates).
"The atmosphere in Frankfurt is always heated, the matches are often hard-fought. But I'm very confident we'll take three points," said Thomas Müller. "We know we aren't in top form, we have to work our way through this period, but on Saturday it'll be about standing our ground. Spurred on by our fans, we'll assert ourselves in Frankfurt."
The Munich men reclaimed top spot for 24 hours when they beat Union Berlin 2-1 last weekend. Bayern aim to achieve that on Saturday too, when Borussia Mönchengladbach take on Bayer Leverkusen at the same time. SC Freiburg, who take on Bremen, and VfL Wolfsburg, who face Dortmund, are in for tough challenges too, so Bayern might reclaim first place if they beat Frankfurt.
Eintracht have won four, drawn two and lost three matches so far this campaign, lying ninth on 14 points, only three short of the Champions League spots. After attacking trio Sébastien Haller, Luka Jovic and Ante Rebic left the club, their successors Goncalo Paciencia (five goals), Bas Dost and André Silva (three goals each) have settled in very well. They have 11 of Frankfurt's 16 goals between them. Frankfurt have yet to lose at home this season. However, the last time they beat Bayern was almost ten years ago, a 2-1 home victory in March 2010.
Javi Martínez was sidelined for two matches with a thigh problem, but the defender will be in the squad against Frankfurt, so Kovač has "an alternative" for the starting line-up. Apart from Niklas Süle, Lucas Hernández and Fiete Arp, all players are fit.
Frankfurt coach Adi Hütter has almost his entire squad at his disposal. It remains to be seen whether André Silva can return to the squad. The forward has resumed training. Defender Martin Hinteregger, who had to be subbed off with a knock to his knee in the DFB Cup victory over St. Pauli, is available again.
What the coaches say
Niko Kovač: "I'm looking forward to the match, it'll be intense. We must turn in a better display there. I expect more passion in one-on-one situations. We must be alert from the start. Frankfurt hit the gas from the start. We must watch out. If we play as we have over the last few weeks, we might go a goal down. It's a top match against a very, very good team."
Adi Hütter: "We'll give it everything to put up a fight against Bayern, and more than that, so that it'll be different from our last few encounters with Bayern. We must be highly focused throughout. We must be compact and defend well but still be bold in attack."
Bayern youth product Thomas Müller is poised for a historic milestone. The 30-year-old might make his 500th competitive appearance for the German record champions in Saturday's match away to Eintracht Frankfurt. Müller would be the tenth Bayern player to reach this mark since the club's promotion to the Bundesliga in 1965. Müller might reach another milestone. He boasts 99 assists so far. Since detailed data collection began in 2004/05, no other Bundesliga player has set up as many goals as the eight-time German champion.