Tranquillo Barnetta (pictured) wants Eintracht Frankfurt to turn the Commerzbank Arena into a fortress
Tranquillo Barnetta (pictured) wants Eintracht Frankfurt to turn the Commerzbank Arena into a fortress

Eagles looking for first home win

Frankfurt - Eintracht Frankfurt will be seeking their first home win of the season when they entertain in-form VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday evening (kick-off 18:30 CET).

Veh sees no reason to panic

The Eagles have thus far been unable to reproduce their impressive UEFA Europa League form domestically, having drawn four and lost one of their last five Bundesliga matches. The Eagles are now just three points off the relegation play-off position with ten points on the board; this time last season, they had double the points tally and were as high as third in the table.

Despite Frankfurt’s precarious position in the league, coach Armin Veh is confident of overcoming Dieter Hecking's team on Matchday 11. “Some of our league games so far have been very close,” he explained. “We were often the better team, but weren’t able to get the three points. We’ve been ahead three times in the league, but have ended up conceding late goals.”

Midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta believes turning the Commerzbank Arena into a fortress will be a key factor in improving the Eagles' league form. “It’s unacceptable that we haven't won at home yet,” he told Bild. “Normally, our opponents should be worried about coming here, knowing we're not going to give them much of a chance to win. Saturday is a great opportunity to get that first victory at home.”

Jung may miss out

Right-back Sebastian Jung is a slight doubt for Frankfurt after the 23-year-old picked up a calf injury in training on Wednesday. Should Jung be unavailable, Stefano Celozzi is likely to deputise in defence. Jan Rosenthal is still short of match fitness following his calf injury, while captain Pirmin Schwegler remains a long-term absentee following knee surgery.

Hecking, meanwhile, is likely to keep faith with the team that beat Werder Bremen 3-0 last weekend. Ivan Perisic is set to keep his place in the side, while Dutch forward Bas Dost could be in line for a return to the Wolves' squad after recovering from a long-term ankle injury. “With Bas, we have to think about whether it makes sense to play him,” the coach explained He will have plenty more opportunities to make his return.”

‘Great potential’

Hecking believes Wolfsburg's opponents on Saturday are in a false position in the league. “I honestly don’t think Frankfurt deserved to lose 4-1 against Gladbach,” he said. “They have great potential, and they've shown as much in the Europa League with their attractive style of play. They’re a team that plays attacking football at a very high tempo and can clearly be more successful in the Bundesliga than they have been so far this season.”

Wolfsburg currently occupy the same position -sixth - that the Eagles finished in last campaign and the 49-year-old is keen for his team to build on their recent progress. “Another three points would be great for our current situation and an important step towards opening a little gap between us and the teams immediately below us,” he said. “I can feel that our team wants to up the ante.”

Matthew Howarth

Possible line-ups:

Frankfurt: Trapp - S. Jung, Zambrano, Anderson, Oczipka - Russ, Rode - Aigner, Meier, Barnetta - Kadlec

Wolfsburg: Benaglio - Ochs, Naldo, Knoche, Rodriguez - Medojevic, Luiz Gustavo - Diego, Arnold, Perisic - Olic

Watch Wolfsburg star Diego's top five Bundesliga goals, courtesy of the official Bundesliga YouTube channel: