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|Match Result and Both Teams to Score||Odds|
|Eintracht Frankfurt and Yes||+750
|Tie and Yes||+425
|Bayern Munich and Yes||+115
Julian Nagelsmann’s side were defensively vulnerable towards the end of last season and a clean sheet could be beyond them here.
Back Bayern Munich to win and both teams to score (+115)
Pick made on 08/02/2022 at 02:07 PM EST
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For the 10th time in a row, Bayern Munich won the Bundesliga title last season. The Bavarian outfit have long been the kings of German soccer, but their present run of success is unprecedented. Indeed, prior to the last decade the most titles Bayern had won on the bounce was three: between 1972 and 1974, 1984 and 1987, and 1999 and 2001.
Their current dominance is the result of a broader stratification within European soccer which has seen a handful of elite clubs move clear of the rest. This phenomenon is particularly noticeable in Germany, where Bayern generate a significantly higher revenue than even their closest domestic rivals.
Last season was a case in point. Bayern were far from flawless, as evidenced by their Champions League performance: despite some eye-catching showings in the group phase, Bayern were deservedly knocked out by Villarreal (who did not even finish in the top six in La Liga) in the quarter-finals. Yet Julian Nagelsmann’s side still proved far too strong for the rest of Germany’s top tier, finishing a healthy eight points clear at the summit of the standings.
This has been a summer of change for Bayern, but their status as perennial German champions is not under threat. Robert Lewandowski will certainly be a miss following his move to Barcelona. Over the last three seasons the Poland international averaged more than 36 goals per Bundesliga campaign, and his de facto replacement Sadio Mane will struggle to match those numbers.
Bayern have bolstered their squad elsewhere, though, as well as persuading Serge Gnabry to sign a new long-term contract at the Allianz Arena. Ryan Gravenberch is an exciting addition from Ajax and there are high hopes for the 17-year-old Mathys Tel, but the headline acquisition is that of Matthijs de Ligt, who has the potential to be the best center-back in the world one day. He should help to tighten up a backline that was far from solid in the second half of last season.
Ordinarily an 11th-place finish would have been a disappointment for Eintracht Frankfurt, but 2021/22 was an exception. But virtually as soon as the knockout phase of the Europa League began, Oliver Glasner made a conscious decision to prioritize that competition. After victories over Real Betis, Barcelona, West Ham United and Rangers, the Frankfurt boss’s somewhat risky decision was vindicated.
As a result of their triumph in the continent’s secondary competition, Frankfurt will be competing in the Champions League this term. To qualify for next season’s edition, they will need to finish in the top four of the Bundesliga. That will not be easy, with Bayern, Dortmund and RB Leipzig accustomed to taking three of the spots and Bayer Leverkusen looking good for the remaining one.
Eintracht have been busy in the transfer market so far, wrapping up deals for Lucas Alario, Mario Gotze, Jens Hauge, Faride Aladou and Randal Kolo Muani among others.
Just as important is the fact that Filip Kostic is still at the club, although he continues to be linked with a move away and there is still around a month of the transfer window left to run. There is understandably considerable excitement over Gotze, but it would be wise for supporters to temper their expectations given the attacking midfielder’s fitness struggles in recent times.
In the second half of the 2021/22 campaign, Bayern kept only five clean sheets in 17 games. Nagelsmann made the decision to switch to a back three and it is fair to say the Bavarians encountered a few teething problems early on. It is not yet clear whether Bayern will stick with that shape or revert to a four-man backline this term, although they opted for the latter against RB Leipzig in the DFB-Supercup.
Regardless, a team like Eintracht can take advantage of any defensive uncertainty. They will look to attack the space behind Bayern’s forward-thinking full-backs and drag the center-halves out of position. They will need to be brave in possession, as teams who allow Bayern 80 per cent of the ball tend to suffer defeat.
Yet while it is easy enough to envision Eintracht finding the back of the net here, Bayern will surely have too much quality of their own going forward. On the opening night in the Bundesliga, we are backing an away win and both teams to score.
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|Teams||Eintracht Frankfurt vs Bayern Munich|
|Location||Deutsche Bank Park, Frankfurt, Germany|
|Time||Friday, 5 August 2022, 2.30PM EST|
|How to watch||ESPN+|
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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