Bundesliga Spotlight - Part Three
In the final instalment we turn our attentions to the Bundesliga basement clubs GK's...
Eintracht Frankfurt - Kevin Trapp
Kevin Trapp is only the second on this list who is a full Germany international and was part of the squad for his country’s ill-fated 2018 World Cup campaign.
He only signed permanently for Frankfurt in the summer, after a loan spell at the Commerzbank-Arena from parent-club PSG last season, in which he impressed as his new side finished 7th to qualify for the Europa League.
Frankfurt who have qualified for Europe in consecutive seasons, have endured a torrid season and the 2018 DFB-Pokal champions find themselves at the wrong end of the table.
Before the suspension Frankfurt had lost three consecutive games, and Trapp had picked the ball out of his net twice in the first ten minutes in a 3-1 home defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach.
Trapp will have to be at his best to keep Saturday’s opponents at bay as they face Bayern Munich at the Allianz in the evening kick off.
FC Augsburg - Andreas Luthe
This was a tricky one as Andreas Luthe and Tomas Koubek have alternated over the previous four fixtures between the sticks.
However, Andreas Luthe, who has spent the majority of this season as second choice, started in the gut-wrenching defeat to Wolfsburg after Daniel Ginczek’s stoppage time winner.
The veteran, Luthe has started just three times this season, all post winter-break and will likely start in Sunday’s trip to Schalke. Luthe has spent most of his career in Germany’s second tier and faces one of the biggest challenges of his career as Augsburg face a battle against the drop.
Augsburg enjoyed a rare foray into the top half in 2014/15, qualifying for Europe, but have since returned to their regular relegation scraps, just two places and four points above the relegation play-off spot this time around.
Mainz - Florian Muller
Mainz will be without first-choice, Robin Zentner who ruptured his cruciate ligament back in February with twenty-two-year-old Florian Muller deputising.
Muller was part of the side who battled from two down to draw with Koln at the weekend, who will take a lot of confidence going into Sunday’s home game with RB Leipzig.
The German Under-21 international played the majority of Mainz’s Bundesliga games last season but after a dreadful start to the 2019/20 in which they conceded twelve times in their opening three matches, Muller was dropped for Robin Zenter, who himself has been at the club for six seasons.
Mainz are far from safe from relegation but a victory on Sunday could give them breathing space from the play off spot.
Fortuna Dusseldorf - Florian Kastenmeier
Florian Kastenmeier may well have done his job in a goalless draw with Paderborn at the weekend, but Dusseldorf missed the chance to launch themselves clear of the automatic relegation places at home to the Bundesliga’s bottom side.
Manchester City loanee, Robin Zenter is recovering from a patella injury he sustained in January, since which Kastenmeier has proved a capable replacement, having himself only joined the club in the summer.
The twenty-two-year-old has enjoyed a decent spell as Fortuna’s number one and has the opportunity in the final stretch to cement his position, with Zentner likely to return to the Etihad at the end of the season.
Managed by former Brentford and Leeds boss, Uwe Rossler, Fortuna Dusseldorf travel to Koln on Sunday evening.
Werder Bremen - Jiri Pavlenka
Bremen were quite simply dreadful in their return to Bundesliga football, and sympathy should be had for Jiri Pavlenka who could do little to prevent his side going down 4-1 at home to Bayer Leverkusen.
The 2004 Bundesliga winners have suffered a cataclysmic decline and having only just missed out on a Europa League spot last season, they are in real danger of a first relegation for forty years.
With just one win in eleven and the worst defensive record in the Bundesliga, Bremen face a difficult trip to Freiburg on Saturday in dire need of points, in danger of being cut adrift in second bottom.
Pavlenka, who has nine caps for Czech Republic, was courting the attention of Jurgen Klopp prior to the signing of Allison and in the event of a likely relegation, may be moving on in the next transfer window.
Paderborn - Leopold Zingerle
In just their second Bundesliga campaign in their history, Paderborn are unsurprisingly propping up the rest of the division.
The club suffered consecutive relegations to Liga 3 in 2014/15 and 2015/16 before back-to-back promotions which has given them another crack at the topflight.
Leopold Zingerle has been with the club since their foray into the third tier and has something to build upon going into the final nine games of the season after his clean sheet at Dusseldorf.
Paderborn face Hoffenheim and will be looking for victory to close the gap between themselves and Mainz above the relegation zone.