By Ben Sully @SullyBen
Ahead of Tuesday’s European meeting with Napoli, Eintracht Frankfurt will attempt to secure all thee points when they face Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Frankfurt may have one eye on the first leg of their Champions League tie against Napoli, which will take place at Deutsche Bank Park. However, after being thrashed 3-0 by FC Köln last weekend, they will be keen to return to winning ways before they face the Serie A leaders.
Die Adler enjoyed a nine-game unbeaten run in all competitions before facing Steffen Baumgart’s side, but as it proved, their impressive run of form came to an abrupt end. Following a goalless first half, Timo Hübers gave Köln the lead within four minutes of the start before Ellyes Skhiri netted a brace to condemn Frankfurt to a disappointing 3-0 defeat.
Frankfurt, who occupy sixth position, remain firmly in the battle for Champions League qualification with two points separating them from fourth-place Freiburg.
Despite being comfortably beaten last weekend, they will be confident of claiming all three points on Saturday after winning their last four competitive home games, scoring at least three goals in each of those victories.
Éric Junior Dina Ebimbe remains sidelined for the hosts, while young midfielder Marcel Wenig is a doubt.
After claiming consecutive victories over Wolfsburg and Stuttgart, Bremen were unable to clinch all three points when they faced title-chasing Borussia Dortmund last weekend. Ole Werner’s side kept Die Schwarzgelben at bay until the 67th minute, but strikes from Jamie Bynoe-Gittens and Julian Brandt consigned Bremen to a 2-0 home defeat.
Bremen currently sit in ninth place and after winning promotion back to the top flight last season, they will be satisfied with a return of 27 points from their 20 league games.
With Bremen on course to secure their place in the Bundesliga for another season, Werner will now be targeting a top half finish. If they are to achieve that goal then they will have to improve defensively, after shipping 39 league goals this season – only Bochum and Schalke have conceded more.
Illness may prevent Christian Gross from taking part, while Mitchell Weiser, Jean-Manuel Mbom and Felix Agu are ruled out through injury. Leonardo Bittencourt, meanwhile, will serve a one-match suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards.