This clash looks like the most promising of two semi-finals, on one side we have the high flying Eintracht Frankfurt who have taken the Bundesliga and Europa League by storm this season coming up against a Chelsea side that can never be written off regardless of the opposition.
Let’s take a look at both teams form coming into this one.
Eintracht currently sits in 4th place in the Bundesliga and are on course for a Champions League spot next season providing they don’t slip up over the remaining three league matches.
Regardless of what happens over these two legs, Adi Hütters debut season has to be seen as an enormous success. In the Europa League, the Germans have played their best football of the season, from the 12 matches we’ve seen them lose just once and that was in effect due to an early red card and penalty when they took on Benfica in the last round (Won 4-4 on away goals).
Overall their form in Europe shows an excellent 9 Wins 2 Draws and one loss with 28 goals scored which is 2nd highest in the competition and only narrowly behind Chelsea.
Domestically however they have been inconsistent with 7 wins from 14 since the winter break. Also when we look at their form against the teams above them in the table we see 0 wins from 5 games this season
Chelsea’s form has dipped recently, In the Month of April, we’ve seen the Blues win only four of their seven matches with two of those wins coming over a weak Slavia Prague side and the others coming against weaker Premier League opposition in West Ham and Brighton.
Chelsea, however, should not be underestimated at this stage of the competition especially considering how good their away form has been in this competition.
This is in no small part down to how tight they have kept things at the back, despite conceding against MOL Vidi (2-2) and Malmo (2-1) they gave the opposition next to nothing in terms of good goalscoring chances and I’m expecting the same in this match.
Frankfurt are definitely the harder hit of the two clubs with Ante Rebic suspended and Sebastian Haller still out injured. These two have been a massive part of the teams success this season.
Chelsea will be without Rudiger at CB but should be at their strongest elsewhere
Potential Frankfurt Starting XI: Trapp – Abraham (c), Hasebe, Hinteregger – da Costa, Fernandes, Rode, Kostic – Gacinovic – Paciencia, Jovic
Potential Chelsea Starting XI: Kepa – Azpilicueta (c), Christensen, Luiz, Alonso – Kovacic, Jorginho, Barkley – Pedro, Giroud, Hazard
Points of Interest
- Haller and Rebic will miss this 1st leg for Frankfurt, so far this season they have been involved in 47 goals in the league and in Europe
- Frankfurt have committed more fouls (170) than any other team left in the competition. Arsenal are 2nd on 139. The Germans have also picked up more yellow cards than any other team (31)
- Chelsea have allowed only 11 shots on their goal away from home in the Europa League this season (6 matches)
At this stage, I feel Frankfurt are overrated and the market doesn’t seem to appreciate just how important Haller and Rebic are to this side. With the final within touching distance expect a highly motivated Chelsea team to try and kill this tie off in the 1st leg.
- Chelsea Draw no Bet at 1.83 (Bet365) – 2 units
- Chelsea Over 1.5 team goals at 2.4 with Pinnacle – 1 unit
- Gelson Fernandes to be carded at 3.25 (Bet365) – 2 units
- Sebastian Rode to be carded at 6.00 (Bet365) – 1.5 units