Eintracht Frankfurt draw against Hoffenheim in an urgent procedure and prepare for a painful semi-final in the Europa League. Djibril Sow aptly reports, West Ham’s best players enjoy a Sunday off.
Despite all the other announcements in the run-up to the match, the Europa League semi-finals at West Ham played a role for Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga home game against TSG Hoffenheim (2-2). Coach Oliver Glasner had sent the best possible starting student into the race, but during the match he made a switch to the first stage on Thursday (21.00, live on hr-iNFO and in the audio stream on hessenschau.de) in London. Like Rafael Borré, Sebastian Rode was allowed to call it a day too early, Djibril Sow got a few minutes of combat training after recovering from an injury.
Save a few strengths here, get back in the rhythm there. Eintracht grooved already Saturday afternoon to Thursday night. “Now the preparation begins,” Glasner quickly dismissed the rather unimportant duel with the Kraichgauers and turned his gaze to London. “Now there’s joy, now there’s excitement, now it’s on to the finals.”
West Ham could damage the record
It remains to be seen how much fun the game will actually be with “Hammers” in East London. Purely atmospheric, the Frankfurters have to prepare for a real away match at the Olympic Stadium – unlike in Barcelona. More than the officially approved 3,000 Eintracht fans will not be in the stands this time. Sportingly, the physical Englishmen cannot be compared to their former opponents from Barcelona and Sevilla.
While the two Spanish teams like to have the ball, play the game themselves and offer Eintracht plenty of room for quick counter-attacks, West Ham are unlikely to have it. The reason: the Premier League’s seventh follows a similar plan as Eintracht and does what the Hessians do not like: stand compact on the defensive and then rely on the counter-attack. An uncomfortable and disgusting way to play.
The sow is back
“They play with a lot of long balls and crosses – we have to be prepared for that,” warned midfield strategist Sow, who showed up in shape after surviving the inner ligament stretch. “I’m still in pain, but adrenaline is the best painkiller.”
The Swiss still will have no other choice. When Kristijan Jakic missed the first showdown with West Ham due to a yellow card expulsion, Sow is set for double sixes along with captain Sebastian Rode. In the back three, Almamy Touré will probably start again for Evan N’Dicka, who is also suspended.
Coach Moyes protects top players
What also speaks for a difficult away trip is that Londoners will take unity and competition seriously from the first minute. Unlike Barca, who underestimated Eintracht in both matches and saw the Europa League as just a task, West Ham are dying to reach the final. One can wonder how big this wish is on Sunday when “Hammers” coach David Moyes rested six top players in the derby against Chelsea.
Although West Ham are still battling for a place in international business in the league, the 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge left most of their leading players on the bench. Superstar Declan Rice, who is currently traded by several top clubs and could reportedly cost up to 180 million euros in the summer, was allowed to attend for half an hour. Top scorer Jarrod Bowen came on as a substitute in the 73rd minute, while center-forward Michail Antonio was allowed to rest completely. Clear sign: For West Ham, only harmony counts.
The big goal: Sevilla
In the final phase of the season, the Hessians will once again gather all their strength and surpass themselves in London without the fans’ great help. There must be no fatigue or heavy legs. “Now is the time to get over the pain,” coach Glasner said. Captain Rode, who probably knows more about pain than anyone else, added: “Our journey should not be over yet. We would like to go to Seville.”
End on further information