Frankfurt - Two of the Bundesliga's most attacked-minded teams meet in the Commerzbank-Arena on Saturday evening, as Werder Bremen travel to Eintracht Frankfurt looking to overhaul their fifth-placed hosts (kick-off 18.30 CET).
Bremen lacking consistency
"The team wants to build upon the good performances they have shown recently," points out Bremen's head coach Thomas Schaaf, whose side were particularly impressive in their last game, a 4-1 away win in Hoffenheim. Such a result could be exactly what the team needs in what will be an intimidating atmosphere in Frankfurt.
However easy on the eye they may be, though, on more than one occasion this season the Hanseatic outfit's expansive approach has not seen much of a return in terms of points. That they are in a results business is not a fact lost on Kevin de Bruyne, though. "Our play is nice to watch, but the results haven't been consistent enough yet," he revealed exclusively to bundesliga.com.
"Both teams can play attractive football, but what's the use if they don't score?" asks the Belgium international, currently on loan from Chelsea. "It's all about goals in football, and we'll have to score on more than Frankfurt on Saturday." Thankfully, that seems to be something that comes naturally to the team after the success in Hoffenheim, as well as for de Bruyne himself, who has four league goals to his name as well.
De Bruyne settling in well
Indeed, 21-year-old de Bruyne, who spent seven years at Belgian side KRC Genk before moving to Germany in the summer, could be seen as Bremen's stereotypical player - technically adept, skilful and quick. Moreover, his performances also reflect those of his team, "some good and some bad" as the player himself admits.
That he is on loan at the Weserstadion is perhaps another reason why the Belgian international has settled in so well at Werder. His goals and assists serve as proof of his ever-improving understanding with the likes of Marko Arnautovic, who scored his first ever Bundesliga hat-trick in Hoffenheim, Eljero Elia and captain Aaron Hunt. "Their thinking is very similar to mine when we play", he reveals excitedly.
After collecting 19 points from their first eight league matches, opponents Frankfurt have hit something of a speedbump in recent weeks. The Eagles have taken maximum points just once in the last seven games and suffered their first home defeat against local rivals 1. FSV Mainz 05 on Matchday 14.
The points may have dried up for Armin Veh's men of late, but in front of their home crowd, a win will less a hope than an expectation for the home faithful. After all, only table-toppers FC Bayern Munich (19) have collected more points at home than Eintracht's 17 in the current campaign.
"We want to give something to our supporters," says Veh, for whom the recent string of poor results - the loss to Mainz was then followed by a 4-0 hammering at Fortuna Düsseldorf - is normal. "Other clubs have had phases like this as well. And for a [newly-promoted] team to have 24 points is outstanding."
Frankfurt: Trapp - S. Jung, Zambrano, Butscher, Oczipka - Schwegler, Rode - Aigner, Meier, Inui - Occean
Bremen: Mielitz - Gebre Selassie, Prödl, Sokratis, Schmitz - Junuzovic - Arnautovic, Fritz, de Bruyne, Elia - Petersen