Eintracht manager Oliver Glasner proactively parried possible allegations against him and his team on Sunday. In the game in Leverkusen, he will save several players for the Europa League – and even gain understanding from Leipzig.
It rarely happens, but the likeable Oliver Glasner can get a bit harsh at press conferences. When the word “distortion of competition” circulated on Sunday, the Eintracht coach clearly reacted. “Everyone should take care of their club, I don’t comment on other teams either,” said the Austrian.
No one has spoken out against him and his team so far, but the general murmur is naturally increasing in the final push of the season. On Saturday, Hertha coach Felix Magath denounced the laxity of Bayern Munich when the team had already been crowned champions. Eintracht rank in the gray midfield of the Bundesliga and will tend to retain (regular) staff when it comes to Europa League assignments. Opponent of Eintracht on Monday (8:30 p.m.), Bayer Leverkusen is still in full swing in the Champions League against Freiburg and Leipzig.
Tedesco: “It’s legitimate”
The latter club won’t blame the Frankfurters if they lose focus. “Everything is legit,” said Leipzig coach Domenico Tedesco. “Eintracht have to play their season. Frankfurt make the decisions they have to make.” His colleague Glasner saw it very similarly, saying: “I just have to do what’s best for Eintracht Frankfurt.” And that means: “West Ham has absolute priority.”
That’s why six players didn’t even make the trip to Leverkusen: Rafael Borré (suspended), Martin Hinteregger, Erik Durm (both ill, no corona), Jesper Lindström, Christopher Lenz (both injured) and Sebastian Rode (load control). Glasner also announced other personnel changes in the starting XI. Striker Ragnar Ache is very likely to make his debut in the starting XI.
Ache and Hrustic have a chance to start
Makoto Hasebe could step in defense for Hinteregger, who then complements Evan N’Dicka and Almamy Toure. N’Dicka was suspended in London, Touré could handle the pace of the game well after being a reserve player for a long time. Kristijan Jakic, who is also suspended in London, could play in defensive midfield, while Djibril Sow is expected to be given a break due to his recent medial ligament sprain.
In attack, Jens Petter Hauge should have his chance from the start and thus set the stage for Thursday if regular striker Lindström fails. Other candidates for bench rotation include Danny da Costa, Timothy Chandler and Goncalo Paciencia. Too many changes? Glasner seemed pretty clear on Sunday: “The lineup will be geared towards managing West Ham’s load.” However, he will not fall back on the U19 players.
“No parallel world” between the Bundesliga and the Europa League
And because he was already in defensive mode, Glasner also commented on the sometimes criticized performance gaps between his side in the Bundesliga and the Europa League. “I don’t see a parallel world there.” He spoke about what he considered to be strong performances against Hoffenheim and Freiburg as well as his team’s best physical statistics in the league.
The commitment was therefore always good, but the European Cup was going to create other emotional stimuli. “All of you are having a bad day at the office,” Glasner said. And that was the right picture for the coming week: Eintracht has an office job in Leverkusen on Monday, but another party day in its own living room on Thursday.