Frankfurt host Chelsea in the first leg of the semi finals of Europa league on Thursday. They made a terrific comeback against Benfica in the Quarter finals after losing to Benfica in the first leg by 4 goals to 2. Frankfurt scored 2 crucial away goals to give them hope for the second leg. In the second leg they over turned a 4-2 deficit from the first leg and managed to beat Benfica 2-0 at home, and booked their place in the semi finals of the Europa League.
They take on the English giants Chelsea, who have been very shaky in their last couple of games. Chelsea managed to beat Slavia Praha in the first leg away from home after scoring a crucial away goal in the dying minutes of the game. Slavia Praha gave Chelsea a proper fight in the second leg and almost made a comeback but Chelsea made it through safely to the semi finals after winning 5-3 on aggregate. This will be no easy game for the Blues, as Frankfurt are a very good side and will definitely punish them if they do not concentrate against a side who are very dangerous going forward. It is a must win game for the Blues if they want to get into the Champions league next season. Top 4 is still up for grabs and its in Chelsea’s hand but anything can happen and Chelsea should take this game easy.
- This is Eintracht Frankfurt’s first European semi-final since 1979/80, when they ultimately won the UEFA Cup after defeating Bayern Munich and Borussia Mönchengladbach in the semi-finals and finals respectively.
- This will be Chelsea’s ninth major European semi-final appearance in the Abramovich era (since 2003/04); no club has appeared in more since then (Barcelona also nine).
- These two sides have never previously faced off; Eintracht have lost at home to English opposition just once before in all European competitions – 0-1 vs Nottingham Forest in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1967/68.
- Chelsea have lost just one of their last 10 games against German sides in all European competitions (W5 D4), and have won their last two such games in Germany, both versus Schalke in 2013/14 and 2014/15.
- Eintracht have played 10 Europa League games at the Commerzbank-Arena, winning eight times and drawing twice; they haven’t trailed for a single minute in those games.
- Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri is unbeaten in his last 13 games in the Europa League (W12 D1). The only manager to go on a longer run without defeat since the competition was rebranded in 2009/10 is Jürgen Klopp – 14 games (W6 D8) with Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool between October 2010 and April 2016.
“I respect Frankfurt. They have played against big teams and are a dynamic side with great intensity, and physically they have the same characteristics as [quarter-final opponents] Slavia Prague, but the quality is better, especially in attack. It will be difficult to get to the final. We are in trouble with the centre-backs… We’ve played 58 matches so injuries are typical. We were lucky previously but not in the last 10 days.Maurizio Sarri
Eintracht Frankfurt manager Adi Hutter says he side will need to be at their best if they are to beat a strong Chelsea team.
“It is important that we also enjoy this game. We are playing a semi-final, against such a big club. This is something special. It is important that we also enjoy this game.Adi Hutter
Kepa, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Luiz, Emerson, Jorginho, Kante, Loftus-Cheek, Pedro, Giroud, Hazard.
It is easy to say, that tomorrow will be a very tough game for Chelsea and they have to come out with the right mentality. Eden Hazard will play a very crucial part for Chelsea over these two legs. The same can be said for Luka Jovic who is a very good striker and is very clinical. Chelsea have a couple of injuries and are really shaky at the moment but if they come out with the right mentality and if Sarri picks the right lineup they can come out winners. Although Chelsea are favourties, Frankfurt should not be underestimated.
Frankfurt 1-1 Chelsea
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Chelsea
Thursday 2nd May
Kick off: 8pm UK time