Hide victory in the first leg, go full throttle: Eintracht Frankfurt want to use this recipe for success to reach the Europa League final against West Ham. Jesper Lindström is questionable, Sebastian Rode still has a score to settle.
It’s been 1,091 days since Eintracht Frankfurt played in a Europa League semi-final second leg. Back then, in May 2019, the Hessians were stranded at Stamford Bridge, very unhappy due to their own nerves and Chelsea FC. Almost three years later, everything should be better in the home stadium against West Ham United and the dream of the final in Sevilla should come true.
“For everyone who was there against Chelsea, this game is still very present,” summarized Sebastian Rode on Wednesday on the emotional situation. “We were knocked out then. But now we’re in a better position and we want to do everything we can to reach the final.” Eintracht still have a score to settle with the Europa League, which will be settled on Thursday (9 p.m. in the audio stream on hr-iNFO).
Glasner calls for a bold appearance
“We are really looking forward to this game. It’s a highlight for the club, the city and the fans,” said coach Oliver Glasner, who would like to completely erase the good starting position from his players’ minds. . After winning the first leg in London, a draw is already enough for Eintracht to win the big blow, but Glasner wants to do without arithmetic games. “We’re 2-1 up, but we’re not resting on our laurels. We’re not going to get there.”
Means: Eintracht itself will take the initiative as it did against FC Barcelona and during the first meeting with West Ham in London and will occupy the English guests. Get ahead, attack early, create chances. With this plan, which has worked so well in the Europa League so far, Hessen wants to eliminate West Ham and then fight RB Leipzig or Glasgow Rangers for the title. “We are aiming for a win from the first second,” Glasner made it clear. With an open visor at the end.
Lindstrom will likely be out
However, it is currently extremely doubtful whether Jesper Lindström, one of the main attacking players, could play a role in this project. The Dane, who suffered a thigh injury in the first leg, was only able to train individually on Wednesday and is likely to miss out. On Thursday morning there should be another stress test, as Glasner explained. “But it will be a photo-finish for him. There is a relatively big question mark.” Trend: Lindstrom must pass.
As a possible replacement, Glasner put several names on the line at the press conference and even considered a system change. However, it’s rather unlikely that Sam Lammers or Ragnar Ache will suddenly be knocked out in attack in one of the greatest games in the club’s history. If Lindström fails, Jens Petter Hauge should therefore enter the starting lineup. Nothing will change in the usual 3-4-3 system, the defensive trio is made up of Tuta, the recovered Martin Hinteregger and Evan N’Dicka, suspended in the first leg. Three bouncers against the English powers.
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Fans can make a difference
Because it’s also clear: despite all the attacking orientation, Eintracht will also have to fight defensively. West Ham are weaker in terms of play compared to quarter-final opponents Betis Sevilla or Barca. Physically, seventh in the Premier League is a challenge. “They were physically superior to us in standards,” Rode warned. “We have to be robust against that.” The motto: cause as few free kicks as possible, be present in the penalty area.
And as if all that weren’t enough, Eintracht relies on the symbiosis between team and supporters that we have seen so often in the Europa League. With 48,000 spectators, the stadium will of course be full, and we can already feel the tingles. “I’m sure it’s going to be a great night in Europe. I’m really looking forward to it,” Glasner said. “The fans will give us extra energy.” Eintracht actually have a great chance of winning a European final. Dinner is served.
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