Canadian striker Olivier Occean (l.) scored 17 times as SpVgg Greuther Fürth gained promotion to the Bundesliga last season...
Canadian striker Olivier Occean (l.) scored 17 times as SpVgg Greuther Fürth gained promotion to the Bundesliga last season...

Fürth's Occean-sized void

Olivier Occean faces ex-club Greuther Fürth for the first time since his summer move to Eintracht Frankfurt when the two sides meet at the Commerzbank Arena on Friday (kick-off 20:30 CET).

"Goal threat"

"That's how it goes in football - money talks," said Fürth coach Mike Büskens of his side's decision to allow Occean to jump ship to fellow promotees Frankfurt. Not that the Canadian needed much persuading, with the chance to be part of the Eagles' "great tradition" too good an opportunity to miss.

Of course, one club's loss is another's gain and that certainly rings true for high-flying Frankfurt who, with Occean in tow, have marked their return to the Bundesliga in style. Nine games in, Armin Veh's team sit third on the league ladder, and though their powerful striker has only netted once, they boast as many goals (20) to their name as champions Borussia Dortmund.

"Occean is a real goal threat. He holds the ball up and moves it well, too," said coach Veh, reeling off just three of the forward's attributes, all of which have been on show as the club have risen to third in the league, recording an astonishing six wins in nine matches.

Sorely missed

"Promotion with Fürth was an unforgettable experience", recalled the 31-year-old, whose 17 goals had a big say as the Clover Leaves earned the right to mix it with the Bundesliga elite for the first time in their history last term. It was truly a season to remember for the man with four international goals for Canada, but this time round with Eintracht he has embarked on a new chapter in his career.

The qualities that Veh alluded to have been greatly missed indeed at the Trolli Arena, however. In Occean’s place, Fürth have recruited Edu, Djiby Fall and Franck Ohandza, but all three of them have struggled for goals, with only one scored between them, an Edu strike in last week's 1-1 draw with Werder Bremen. Goals are of the essence for the club that currently props up the league table.

In contention

Curiously enough, Occean goes in search of only his second strike of the campaign on Friday, for the club against whom he made his Fürth debut back in July 2011. Also likely to be involved is Japanese star Takashi Inui, who has plenty to prove following his half-time withdrawal during the Matchday 9 defeat to VfB Stuttgart.

Büskens, meanwhile, is expected to keep faith with the same side that picked up their maiden home point of the season against Werder Bremen, with Edu again set to lead the line after opening his Clover Leaves account last weekend.

Christopher Mayer-Lodge

Possible line-ups:

Eintracht Frankfurt: Trapp - Junge, Zambrano, Anderson, Oczipka - Lanig, Rode - Aigner, Meier, Inui - Occean

Greuther Fürth: Grün - Nehrig, Kleine, Mavraj, Schmitgal - Sararer, Fürstner, Prib, Stieber - Edu, Asamoah