Eintracht Frankfurt will be looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the second half of the 2019/20 Bundesliga campaign on Friday and goalkeeper Kevin Trapp will once again be expected to play a key role.
Eintracht have started the Ruckrunde – as the 17 rounds after the mid-season break are referred to in German football – with three wins and a draw.
Their woes in the first half of the season mean that they still remain 9th on the table but they are one of the competition’s in-form teams and should head into Friday evening’s trip to the Signal Iduna Park confident in their chances against Borussia Dortmund.
In contrast to Eintracht, Dortmund have tasted defeat in their past two outings after suffering a shock 3-2 defeat to struggling Werder Bremen in the DFB-Pokal, before throwing away a lead by conceding in the 81st and 82nd minutes last Saturday to lose 4-3 to Bayer Leverkusen.
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Desperate to get back to winning ways, BVB will still pose a real threat with the likes of Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland leading the line, which makes the presence of Trapp all the more crucial for the visitors.
After a shoulder injury last October required surgery and ruled him out for the remainder of 2019, the return of Trapp between the sticks since the new year has coincided with an upturn in his team’s fortunes – although that should hardly come as a surprise given the quality he possesses.
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Having began his career with Kaiserslautern, the 1.89-metre custodian initially moved to the Commerzbank-Arena in 2012 and spent three seasons there before French giants Paris Saint-Germain came calling.
Trapp was initially enjoyed first-choice status at PSG but the emergence of Alphonse Areola coupled with the signing of Gianluigi Buffon at the start of the 2018/19 campaign paved the way for a return to his former employers.
Initially rejoining on loan, Trapp had a campaign to remember last term – playing an integral role as Eintracht reached the Europa League semi-finals and finished 7th in the league – and earning a spot in the Bundesliga’s Team of the Season.
Although the Eagles have faltered slightly so far this season, European qualification remains very much within their reach, especially given their recent form.
And, if they are to keep that run going, Trapp will likely have to be at his best against a wounded Dortmund side on Friday evening.