Eintracht Frankfurt v West Ham: Europa League semi-final, second leg – live! | Europa League

Jacob Steinberg’s preview

Team news

Eintracht Frankfurt make two changes from the first leg. The excellent French defender Evan Ndicka returns from suspension in place of Almamy Toure, and Jens Petter Hauge replaces the injured Jesper Lindstrom.

Vladimir Coufal replaces Ben Johnson at right-back for West Ham, the only change from last week’s game at the London Stadium.

Eintracht Frankfurt (3-4-2-1) trap; Tuta, Hinteregger, Ndicka; Knauff, Sow, Rode, Kostic; Hauge, Kamada; Borre.
Substitutes: Grahl, Jakic, Hrustic, Lammers, Toure, Hasebe, Ache, Chandler, Da Costa, Lenz, Barkok, Paciencia.

West Ham (4-2-3-1) areola; Coufal, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice; Bowen, Lanzini, Fornals; Antonio.
Substitutes: Fabianski, Randolph, Yarmolenko, Vlasic, Noble, Benrahma, Diop, Fredericks, Masuaku, Johnson, Kral, Alese.

Referee Jesus Gil Manzano (Spain).

Preamble

Hello and welcome to live coverage of the Europa League semi-final between Eintracht Frankfurt and West Ham at the evocatively named Deutsche Bank Park. This is it, then. For Frankfurt and West Ham, only two emotional extremes are available tonight: unimaginable euphoria or unbearable distress.

One group of players will be in Seville on May 18 for the final; the other lot will be at home, each sporting a face like a walloped posterior. Frankfurt are odds-on favorites after their slightly confusing 2-1 win at the London Stadium last week, but West Ham’s task feels more stiff than impossible.

There two reasons for that: away trips aren’t quite as mysterious or intimidating as they once were, and the abolition of the away goals rule means West Ham may only have to score one goal to take the game to extra-time. Last season they would have needed at least two. George Graham’s Anfield ’89 approach – get to half-time at 0-0 and see where the chips fall thereafter – might be homaged by David Moyes tonight. Or West Ham could just blow the bloody doors off in the first half like they did in Lyon in the quarter-finals.

Both teams are very comfortable on the counter-attack, so don’t be surprised if they play pass the parcel with the territorial advantage. Frankfurt have only won five out of 21 home games this season. They don’t need to win tonight, a draw is fine, but that record should give West Ham hope. Not as much hope as a 2-1 lead will give Frankfurt, mind you.

No two ways, this is a huge night for both clubs, the chance to secure a once-in-three-generations opportunity by reaching a European final. Frankfurt last did so in 1980, West Ham in 1976, an- LOOK, YOU PEDANTIC PIECE OF WASTED SPACE, I’VE TOLD YOU BEFORE, THE 1999 INTERTOTO CUP DOESN’T COUNT

RB Leipzig or Rangers await in the final. May the best team win.

kick off 8pm.

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