Frankfurt to be a thorn in Rose's side
This return from the winter break sees two sides in slightly differing form clash in Frankfurt on Saturday. The visitors will look to bounceback from just one win in their last four matches before the break, sparked by a controversial 3-2 Der Klassiker loss. The hosts however finished 2021 in fine form, winning six of their last seven Bundesliga games.
Eintracht on track
This pickup in form at the end of last year has seen Oliver Glasner's side push up into the top six after a poor start to the season. Sitting just two points outside the coveted Champions League spots, their season is showing real promise. Unlike Dortmund, earlier in the season Frankfurt were able to pull off an impressive win against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena. A couple of thrilling wins before the fairly low-key win against Mainz just before the Christmas break included a 5-2 triumph against Bayer Leverkusen and a 3-2 win away at Borussia Monchengladbach, despite going down to ten men. They also qualified from their Europa League group unbeaten, giving them a great chance of another deep run into the competition. However, they will be without the services of their sole goalscorer in their win against Mainz, Jesper Lindstrom, as he is out due to a positive COVID result, as is full back Danny Da Costa. They will also be without Norwegian youngster Jens Petter Hauge and Aymen Barkok who is going to AFCON with Morocco. Glasner has led his team to a revival after their shocking early season form, and if they can pick up from where they left off last year, then they have a really good chance of beating this inconsistent but hugely talented Borussia Dortmund outfit.
Same old story for the Black and Yellow
Marco Rose's men have fallen off the rails somewhat in their final few games before the Christmas break, and will be looking to get back on track on Saturday. But their usual struggles for consistency and any sort of result against the league leaders has left them struggling behind Bayern, and a loss on Saturday would almost certainly put them out of the running against one of Europe's most well oiled machines. They lack the consistency to beat sides near the bottom, and this is the most alarming thing for Dortmund recently. A draw with 12th placed Bochum and a 3-2 loss to 11th placed Hertha Berlin are results that make it nearly impossible for the Black and Yellow to keep up in the title race. Even in a year where Bayern haven't actually looked massively dominant against the traditionally weaker teams throughout this season, Dortmund haven't got close. Yes, Bayern's recent trouncings or Wolfsburg and Stuttgart make it seem as if Nagelsmann's side are going to cruise to the title, but Dortmund have had their chances to get within touching distance. Especially when Dortmund's squad is so diminished, with several COVID cases and injuries depleting their squad by the day, they will massively struggle to cut into their nine point deficit to the top of the table. In this match, it looks as if the experienced Marwin Hitz will have to step up between the sticks with both Gregor Kobel and Roman Burki our of the reckoning. Couple this with an injury list consisting of Marco Reus, Gio Reyna, Dan-Axel Zagadou, Youssoufa Moukoko and Manuel Akanji among others, and Dortmund really are down to the bare bones.
Dortmund are the bookies choice for this game, and perhaps rightfully so. League position and their extremely talented squad would, on the face of it, point towards a win for the visitors. But couple a lengthy list of absentees with some poor form, and I can see Dortmund really struggling to beat Frankfurt. With the hosts in such fine fettle, at 3.60 odds, I'm going with Eintracht Frankfurt to win with bet365.