Frankfurt - Schalke 04

Germany: Bundesliga
Frankfurt A. Silva (28), L. Jović (72), L. Jović (90)
Schalke 04 M. Hoppe (29)

Hütter indicates Jovic will be in matchday squad, Groß to employ minor changes

By Peter Vice

While making a deliberate effort to play matters close to the vest, Eintracht Frankfurt trainer Adi Hütter all but guaranteed that Luka Jovic would be in his squad on Sunday. 

Over in Gelsenkirchen, new Schalke head-coach Christian Groß indicated that his top priority would be "to stick with what works". 

Adi Hütter.
Adi Hütter.Photo: Werner100359, CC BY-SA 4.0

After snapping their historic 30-game-winless run against Hoffenheim last week, Germany's Knappen head to Frankfurt on Sunday to see if they can build some momentum. Another win for the Königsblauen would not see them attain the relegation playoff spot, but would constitute an huge opportunity to put together a morale-boosting streak ahead of a meeting with fellow relegation-candidates Köln midweek.

With so much on the line, speculation as to what Groß will do next remains rampant. Newly re-acquired Sead Kolasinac could move into the midfield. The team already has a serviceable left-back in Bastian Oczipka and the type of confident pressure the Bosnian proved himself capable of applying might be better suited to the six-position. Team captain Omar Mascarell, who ordinarily works in defensive midfield, has once again been ruled out.

Groß hinted at some changes in his Friday presser. It nevertheless appeared as if he was not prepared to interfere with the left-flank of his constellation.

"We don't have many options in the team," Groß noted, "That's why we basically want to maintained what worked in some areas, but certainly not all. The win has given us some confidence. We still can and must improve."

Over in the Bundesrepublik's commercial capital, SGE trainer Adi Hütter declared himself pleased with the work on his own returning star, Luka Jovic. In principle, nothing prevents the former Adler striker from starting on Sunday. The Serb already possesses the proper work permits and has been brought in well after the league's transfer clearance guidelines.

"He [Jovic] certainly lacks match practice," Hütter conceded, "but if nothing major happens, I expect him to be in the matchday squad. He trained with us for the first time and presented himself very well. You can tell that he feels comfortable here.

Reading the general tea leaves of Hütter's press conference would seem to suggest that he's comfortable enough with his current double-ten system to roll it out for the third consecutive week. While Hütter enthusiastically noted that the Serb "gives us many options", he also emphasized that "we have good tens and the basic system involving the tens has worked well.

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