By Ben Sully @SullyBen
Bayern Munich will attempt to claim their first victory of 2023 when they face Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.
|Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0|
Bayern are yet to win a game in 2023, after beginning the year with consecutive 1-1 draws. They gave up a slender lead to draw 1-1 with title rivals RB Leipzig, before they salvaged a point in Tuesday’s meeting with FC Köln. The Bavarians trailed for the majority of the game following Ellyes Skhiri’s fourth-minute opener, but they rescued a draw thanks to a thunderous long-range effort from Joshua Kimmich in the 90th minute.
As a result of Leipzig’s victory over Stuttgart on Friday evening, Bayern’s lead at the top of the table has been reduced to just one point, but they will have the chance to increase that gap on Saturday.
After starting the year with two straight draws, Bayern are at risk of beginning a calendar year with a three-game winless run in the league for the first time since 2007.
Bayern have still fared well at both ends of the pitch this season, racking up 51 goals in their 17 league games, ensuring they are comfortably the highest scorers in the league, while also boasting the best defensive record in the topflight. The Bavarians have only let in 15 goals in the Bundesliga this term, although they have conceded in each of their last three home league games.
Julian Nagelsmann has confirmed that Leon Goretzka will miss Saturday’s game with a thigh injury, while he also stated that Kingsley Coman will come into the starting lineup, with Serge Gnabary expected to drop down to the bench. Meanwhile, the Bavarians are still without the services of Noussair Mazraoui, Manuel Neuer, Lucas Hernandez, Sadio Mané and Bouna Sarr.
Frankfurt will be satisfied with the four points they have picked up from their opening two games of 2023. After cruising to a 3-0 victory over Schalke, they had to be content with a 1-1 draw against Freiburg in midweek. Randal Kolo Muani gave Die Adler the lead three minutes before half time, but Freiburg levelled within two minutes of the restart through Matthias Ginter, ensuring the spoils were shared.
Oliver Glasner’s side head into the weekend in fourth position, and a win on Saturday would see them move to within two points of Bayern. Although they were thrashed 6-1 by the Bavarians on the opening weekend of the season, Frankfurt will take confidence from the 2-1 victory they recorded in their last away meeting with the reigning Bundesliga champions.
Frankfurt have only lost one league game on the road this season, and after picking up 15 points from their eight Bundesliga away matches this term, they currently hold the second-best away record in the topflight.
Glasner has revealed that Kevin Trapp will return to the side, after the goalkeeper missed the midweek draw with Freiburg through illness. However, they will be unable to call upon Eric Ebimbe and Marcel Wenig due to ankle injuries, while Kristijan Jakic and Luca Pellegrini are also sidelined.