Hide the first leg win, go full speed: Eintracht Frankfurt wants to use this recipe for success to reach the Europa League final against West Ham. Jesper Lindstrom is questionable, and Sebastian Rudd still has credit to settle.
It has been 1,091 days since Eintracht Frankfurt last played the Europa League semi-final second leg. At that time, in May 2019, the Hessians failed at Stamford Bridge, which is very unfortunate because of their nerves and Chelsea FC. After nearly three years, everything should be better on the pitch against West Ham United and the dream of a final in Seville should come true.
Sebastian Rudd summed up the emotional situation on Wednesday “for everyone who was there against Chelsea, this game is still very present.” “We were eliminated at the time. But now we are in a better position and we want to do everything we can to get to the final.” Eintracht still has credit to settle with the Europa League, which will be settled on Thursday (9pm podcast on hr-iNFO).
Glasner calls for a bold look
“We’re really looking forward to this match. It’s a bright spot for the club, the city and the fans,” said coach Oliver Glasner, who wants to completely erase a good starting position from his players’ minds. After winning the first leg in London, a draw was already enough for Eintracht to win the big coup, but Glasner wants to do without arithmetic games. “We are leading 2-1, but we are not resting on our laurels. We will not succeed.”
Means: Eintracht will take the lead himself as they did against FC Barcelona and in their first meeting with West Ham in London and keep the guests from England busy. Go forward, attack early, create opportunities for yourself. With this plan, which has worked well in the European League so far, Hessen wants to get West Ham out of the way and then fight RB Leipzig or Glasgow Rangers for the title. “We’re going to win from the first second,” Glasner explained unequivocally. With an open visor for the final.
Lindstrom is probably out
However, it is currently highly questionable whether Jesper Lindström, one of the main offensive players, can play a role in this project. The Dane, who sustained a thigh muscle injury in the first leg, was only able to train individually on Wednesday and is in danger of being out. Another stress test should be done Thursday morning, Glasner explained. “But it would be a definitive picture for him. There is a relatively big question mark.” Tilt: Lindstrom must pass.
As a possible alternative, Glasner introduced several names at the press conference and considered changing the system. However, it is unlikely that Sam Lammers or Ragnar Ashe would suddenly pull out of attack in one of the biggest matches in the club’s history. If Lindström fails, Jens Petter Hauge must move to starting point XI. Nothing will change in the usual 3-4-3 system, the three-backs made up of Tota, the recovering Martin Hinterger and Ivan Ndica, who was suspended in the first leg. Three guards against the English powers.
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Fans can make the difference
Because this is also clear: despite all the offensive orientation, Eintracht will also have to fight in a defensive position. West Ham are considered weaker in terms of play compared to quarter-final opponents Betis Sevilla or Barcelona. Physically, the seventh Premier League is challenging. “They were physically superior to us when it came to standards,” Rudd cautioned. “We have to be strong against it.” Slogan: Inflict as few free kicks as possible, and be present in the penalty area.
And if all this were not enough, Eintracht depends on the symbiosis between the team and the fans that has been seen so often in the European League. With 48,000 spectators, the entire stadium will of course be sold out, and you can already feel the tingle. “I am sure it will be a great evening in Europe. I am really looking forward to it,” Glasner said. “The fans will give us extra energy.” Eintracht already has a great chance of a European final. Dinner is served.
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