After winning the German Cup and then losing the German Super Cup in 2018, Eintracht Frankfurt has started to yo-yo back up in the standings in the Bundesliga as they are currently in the top 5, top 6 of the league. Thanks to the front three forwards of Luka Jovic, Ante Rebic, and Sebastien Haller, the team has rebounded from that Super Cup loss well as the team is having great success in the standings which would be good enough for qualifying for Europa League the next year. In addition, in this season, the team is forcing itself deep into this year’s Europa League by churning hard-pressed wins to continue its success not just in Germany but on the European stage. Their success has pushed the ticket sales to go up, making it harder and harder to find good seats. It reminds me of this year’s Borussia Dortmund as the team has done far better this season compared to last year’s which is making it all that more difficult to get good tickets. It’s not like the bottom dwellers or near the bottom teams like FC Augsburg or Hanover SV.
As for VfB Stuttgart, Frankfurt’s opponent, things have not gone that well since their return to top flight as the team is near the bottom of the standings and could get relegated. Currently, the team is in 16th place which means that if they maintain their current position, the team will have to go to the relegation playoffs against the 2nd league’s 3rd best team. I feel as if this team has started its downhill side since the last time I watched them play live last year when they were home in Stuttgart playing against FC Schalke. Since then Stuttgart has not really progressed that much in the standings and are just hoping to survive from being relegated back into the second league after their promotion 2 years ago. It’s almost like a recycle period of winning promotion, struggling in first league, getting relegated to second league, and then winning promotion to first league all over again. What’s dramatic is that the 2 teams that I watched in the previous day might actually face off Stuttgart in the relegation playoffs! There is no such thing as tanking like there is in the US. That’s what makes it all the more exciting to go see a game and know the story lines behind the scenes.
As for Frankfurt, this might be the best year for the team to secure a high Bundesliga standing finish and maybe even win the Europa League trophy. They’re definitely not the team that I saw lose last season nor this early season’s team that lost in the German Super Cup against Bayern Munich. I feel as if the team’s front three of Jovic, Rebic, and Haller might be moving onto more lucrative contracts during the summer transfer period. Especially Jovic who has broken out as a striker since I read that FC Barcelona might be looking to take him along especially if he wants Champions League football. You never know what might happen during the summer transfer period.
In this game, the black and white Frankfurter team had chances as did the visiting Stuttgart team but like most games, teams are trying to feel each other out. Frankfurt played a 3-2-2-3 format which might become a 3-4-3 with its top three forwards in the lineup. Stuttgart tried countering with a 5-3-2 with at times forming a 3-5-2 or even a 4-4-2 depending on the situation. The problem though with Stuttgart is that it doesn’t really have any firepower and when they try to press, they get caught in the counterattack which Frankfurt is good at hiding its special skill. Unlike other teams which specialize in it, Frankfurt actually knows when to bust it wide open which was how they scored 3 goals against Stuttgart’s 0. After seeing Stuttgart earlier in the season, I don’t see them staying in the first league any longer as they have no offense, no defense, and not much else to keep them going.
The fans were really in it at this game since they are the only German team left in European competition (Europa League) and they just took over 4th place with this win meaning that they stay in this spot, they will go onto Champions League competition. Now how well they do will largely depend on next season’s squad but going to Champions League (or even Europa League) means that there is more money going into the team’s coffers so they should do well in keeping their key players (maybe) and/or attract other players.
I have to say it again that some of these cities don’t really have a lot to see or do except provide great sporting opportunities. I feel that Frankfurt is one of them as the city got heavily bombed in World War II so its team is one of the highlights to travel to the city. Or at least an excuse to go visit the city since the team is doing very well now.