Stuttgart have started the season incredibly well, with the away win in Frankfurt solidifying their position in third place in Gameweek 12 despite results elsewhere.

Dino Toppmöller’s Frankfurt had a nightmare start to the game as Deniz Undav scored for the Swabians less than a minute after kick-off.

Clearly rocked, Eintracht really struggled to get going on the night. Philipp Max’s cross from the left found Stuttgart defender Waldemar Anton, who nodded the ball past his helpless goalkeeper for the equaliser.

Deniz Undav got his brace before half-time, with his 46th minute strike enough to ensure the visitors returned from the international break with all three points.

Frankfurt need a target man

 

Shoehorned into the role out of necessity following the departure of Randal Kolo Muani, Omar Marmoush has impressed as Frankfurt’s main goal threat this season.

However, the Egyptian international is not a target man and struggled to make an impact against Hoeneß’ intense Stuttgart side. 

From the first minute the Stuttgart press caused problems for Toppmöller’s side and Frankfurt could not cope at times.

Unable to play out from the back as they like to do in transition, Kevin Trapp was often forced to play it long to avoid being caught out like they were for Undav’s opener.

The problem with this plan is that it doesn’t suit Marmoush’s strengths and the towering Dan-Axel Zagadou and captain Anton are always likely to win the headers and knock-downs.

Marmoush understandably cut a frustrated figure as the game passed him by for the most part.

Eintracht are reportedly interested in bringing two new strikers to the club in January. The player heavily linked to the club presently is Viktoria Plzeň’s Rafiu Durosinmi.

Standing at six foot two inches in height, the Stuttgart clash would have suited Durosinmi’s game far more than Marmoush. 

The Nigerian striker will undoubtedly be more comfortable with his back to goal and give Trapp and the Eintracht back-line someone to aim for if similar situations arise in future fixtures.

Serhou Guirassy is not guaranteed a starting place

 

As ludicrous as it is to suggest, Undav is scoring at a similar rate than their fifteen-goal man Guirassy.

Deniz Undav understandably struggled to cement a starting berth initially when he arrived on-loan from Brighton and Hove Albion, due to the form of Guirassy, but still chipped in with a handful of goals off the bench.

After Guirassy missed a few weeks of action with a hamstring injury, Undav took his chance to show what he is capable of and now it seems he will be very hard to drop.

This was put into perspective during the match when Hoeneß elected to have them both playing at the same time, as the Guinea international came on for Chris Führich instead of a like-for-like change at the top of the pitch.

The on-loan forward now has a staggering seven goals in nine Bundesliga appearances, with the caveat being not all of those appearances are starts which makes his form all the more impressive.

Hoeneß will inevitably need to have a plan to implement both strikers in an effective way, because with form like that it is hard to argue against the German starting up-front against Werder next weekend. 

Frankfurt lose first Bundesliga game at home in over a year

 

It was 392 days ago that Eintracht Frankfurt lost a home game in the Bundesliga until gameweek 12 of this season. 

The last time Die Adler lost at home in the league was in the 2022/23 season against Borussia Dortmund, coincidentally with the same scoreline and on the same gameweek.

Toppmöller’s Eintracht have been exceedingly hard to beat, before Stuttgart came to Hesse there was just a solitary blip on the new Head Coach’s record.

Despite the loss, Frankfurt remain in seventh position and will feel aggrieved to have lost the game in the way they did.

Shellshocked from the outset with Stuttgart’s blazing start and then again as the visitors’ doubled their lead in added time in the first half, Frankfurt will hope this is just an anomaly in their otherwise defensively sound repertoire. 

Stuttgart were clinical and defensively sound

 

When Undav netted his brace at the end of the first half, it was just his side’s second shot on target.

Stuttgart had an xG of just over 2 according to the Bundesliga match facts at full-time. This showcased their ruthlessness in front of goal when they got their chances as they did not create as many as they are used to.

The opposite was true of Frankfurt who had 13 shots, but just one on target.

This clinicality was vitally important on a difficult afternoon which resulted in a statement victory for Stuttgart, as Frankfurt gave everything to get back into the game.

At the other end of the pitch, Stuttgart’s dynamic back line were unfortunate to lose the clean sheet in an otherwise resolute defensive display.

The VfB defence did what many in the Bundesliga struggle to and kept Marmoush quiet, and made sure the unusual lack of chance creation at the other end of the pitch did not have a detrimental effect.

Coming away with all three points from a statistically very difficult away trip while not being at the top of their game shows the quality and attitude of the Stuttgart group and will no doubt delight their Head Coach.

The Swabians are four points clear from RB Leipzig in fifth who lost to VfL Wolfsburg, and three from Borussia Dortmund in fourth, who fought from behind to beat Borussia Mönchengladbach.

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