THE second DFB Pokal semi-final showdown takes place on Wednesday night as mighty Bayern Munich entertain Eintracht Frankfurt at the Allianz Arena. Jack Lambden (@_JackL_) sets the scene.
Bayern Munich v Eintracht Frankfurt | Wednesday 10th June 2020, 19:45 | BT Sport
Bayern Munich’s pursuit of a treble winning season continues on Wednesday night in the semi-finals of the German Cup – the DFB Pokal – with the Bundesliga title looking secure already.
A 20th Pokal crown would be considered the least important of the three competitions that the Bavarians remain in this season but never underestimate Bayern’s desire to win everything in sight, this cup being no different.
The run of form that Die Roten are currently on is quite remarkable, even by their own very high standards. Eighteen wins in twenty matches in all competitions, including eleven victories in a row, demonstrates that this team is full of confidence heading into the season finale and will take some stopping to win everything in their path.
Given the amount of games upcoming both domestically and in Europe, manager Hansi Flick could make some alterations to his starting X1 in a bid to keep the squad fresh. Thiago has returned from injury but has been suffering from niggles in training so the only likely changes could be at centre-back and on the wing with Ivan Perisic potentially earning a call-up.
Perisic is a man that has always caught my eye for how direct he is in his wing play but also how often he arrives into the box when the ball is switched to the opposite flank. Both aspects of his game mean he gets shots away often but the Croat has found opportunities hard to come by in terms of starting games regularly due to Kingsley Coman’s fine form.
Should the former Inter player start here, I’m confident he will get close to or even surpass his shots per 90 minute average of 3.5 which is nearly double that he averages per game (1.9). Even if Perisic doesn’t complete the full game, he’ll want to make his mark and try and stake a place in the side for the season run-in and Champions League games.
When Bayern met Frankfurt at the Allianz Arena just a few weeks ago, Perisic registered 5 shots in 64 minutes, benefitting from the away team’s positional naivety and lack of shape as Bayern racked up 23 efforts on goal as a collective unit.
I won’t tip his shot prices up though in case he doesn’t start but it’s a market to keep an eye on once Wednesday’s team news is announced.
With attacking pair Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski both suspended for this coming weekend’s league game against Gladbach, the duo are almost certain to start here and that’s bad news for a Frankfurt team with just two clean sheets in their last 13 – both against lowly Werder Bremen.
Muller and Lewandowski both hit landmarks in the 4-2 win at Leverkusen with 20 assists and 30 goals in the Bundesliga respectively and with that type of firepower, I can’t put my money anywhere else than other with the Bavarians.
Frankfurt haven’t won in Munich against Bayern for nearly 20 years and a fair few trips (the last two included, conceding five each time) have seen Eintracht on the end of a hammering.
To add to the backing of the home team, Frankfurt gaffer Hutter will have to do without star man Filip Kostic following the Serb’s quarter final red card which is a bitter blow heading into one of the team’s biggest matches of the season.
That’s a lot of their creative talent gone and although they’ll line up with a fair bit of pace in the midfield, I can’t see them troubling what is expected to be a strong Bayern team.
The betting angle
In terms of a bet on the game, I want to add a Bayern player on the shots into the mix of a double. Using Betfair’s same game multi feature, you can combine Over 2.5 Bayern Goals with Benjamin Pavard to have 1 or more Shots at odds of 21/20 (Betfair).
One of the best attacking forces in world football against such a disorganised defence should result in some goals, especially if Frankfurt keep up their recent traits of failure to mark in the box or track midfield runners.
This past weekend, Frankfurt had VAR to thank for not conceding even more than twice against lowly Mainz with the away team having two goals disallowed as they continuously broke the opposition defence line.
Frankfurt themselves looked tepid, going the full 90 minutes without having a single shot on target which certainly doesn’t bode well for this cup trip.
On Pavard, the full-back has been getting plenty of efforts on goal away in recent matches where he is required less in defence. In the Frenchman’s last five games against sides outside the top five, Pavard has registered 11 shots, peaking at four in the last home tie against Düsseldorf.
With no Kostic to worry about, Pavard will have more free reign to get forward and support his teammates in attempting to score past Kevin Trapp.
The combo selections are often a good way of extracting some value in games which are expected to be one-sided.
Bayern Munich v Eintracht Frankfurt – Bayern Munich to Score Over 2.5 Goals and Benjamin Pavard 1+ Shot (21/20 Betfair)