• Frankfurt stayed up via the relegation play-off last season.
  • Kovac aiming to avoid second straight dalliance with the drop.
  • Meier charged with scoring the goals; Varela joins from Man United.

With not long until the 2016/17 Bundesliga season gets under way, it is high time to put each club's upcoming campaign under the microscope.'s previews will provide you with all you need to know ahead of the big kick-off on 26 August…

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Next up are Eintracht Frankfurt...

Big question

Can Niko Kovac work his magic again and help Frankfurt avoid a season of flirtation with relegation? Eintracht were desperately close to the drop last season, with only Haris Seferovic's 66th-minute winner at 1. FC Nürnberg saving the Eagles in the play-off second leg.

Watch highlights: Frankfurt edge out Nürnberg in play-off thriller

Kovac had, however, masterminded an upturn in form towards the end of the regular season with three wins in the final four games securing the play-off spot. If the Croatian coach can conjure more of the same, then Frankfurt will hope 2015/16's dalliance with the drop was but a one-season fling, and not a more lasting affair.

New faces

Guillermo Varela has joined Frankfurt from Man United. © gettyimages

Guillermo Varela has arrived from Manchester United FC on a season-long loan, becoming the first Uruguayan to play for the club. The versatile full-back will solve a problem position from last season, while up top, Ante Rebic and Branimir Hrgota will provide good back-up for Alexander Meier. The talented Danny Blum has also arrived from Nürnberg to reinforce the midfield.


Niko Kovac kept Frankfurt afloat last season. © imago / Jan Huebner

Kovac took over in March 2016, tasked with securing the club's top-flight status. Four defeats in his first five games boded badly, but he turned things round to ensure Frankfurt survived by the skin of their teeth.

Formerly in charge of Croatia, Kovac turned out for FC Bayern München and Bayer 04 Leverkusen – among others – in an impressive playing career. Ably assisted by his brother Robert, Kovac will be looking to use some of that experience to guide the Eagles to safer skies in 2016/17.

Key man

Alex Meier will likely feature near the top of the scoring chart again in 2016/17. © imago

Frankfurt's perennial key man is Meier. Known to home fans as the 'Football God', the33-year-old finished the 2014/15 season as Bundesliga top scorer with 19 goals. Despite an injury-hit campaign last time out, he ended with 12 goals – but those injuries meant that his side struggled in his absence. Fit and firing in pre-season, expect Meier to feature at the top of the scoring charts again.

Key dates

It is a tough start for Frankfurt, who welcome Markus Weinzierl's new-look FC Schalke 04 on the opening day. Kovac's side then travel to local rivals SV Darmstadt 98 on Matchday 2, before welcoming Leverkusen on Matchday 3. Bayern come calling on Matchday 7, with Borussia Dortmund visiting five games later.

Click here to see Frankfurt's full schedule

Home ground

Frankfurt play their home fixtures at the Commerzbank Arena, a 51,500-seater venue in the south-west of the city.

Watch: get to know the Commerzbank Arena in the exclusive video tour below