Barcelona vs Eintracht Frankfurt: Match preview, predicted lineups, key stats

Barcelona vs Eintracht Frankfurt: Match preview, predicted lineups, key stats

A cracker of a clash awaits at Camp Nou as Barcelona gear up to fight it out with Eintracht Frankfurt for a semi-final spot in this season’s Europa League.

The Catalans were the overwhelming favourites to advance at the time of the draw, however, the bookies have now taken into account the Germans’ valiant fight last week. The game is balanced heading into the second leg, and whoever wins in Catalonia will advance.

It has been the norm for Barcelona to underperform in the first leg of fixtures this season. However, all the underwhelming performances have been followed by a show of dominance and a statement of intent in the second leg.

Xavi’s side did the same against Napoli in Italy and Galatasaray in Turkey. A similar result is needed against Eintracht Frankfurt tomorrow, but this time Barcelona have the added advantage of it being a home fixture.

What to expect from Barcelona?

Xavi has been very cautious not to overload any of his players with repeated starts. Even stars like Pedri and Frenkie de Jong, who form the backbone of his project, have been frequently rested and rejuvenated.

However, not many rotations are expected for the must-win game on Thursday. The manager will count on his strongest available lineup to deliver the result, much like in previous Europa League games.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen announced his return to the elite level with a fabulous display against Levante. The German has been on an upward curve under Xavi and will be hoping to build on the same.

With Dani Alves unregistered for the competition and Sergino Dest yet to receive the medical green light, Ronald Araujo will start as the right-back. However, the Uruguayan’s deployment means he will be unable to start at CB. Jordi Alba will start at left-back.

In central defence, Xavi will have to count on the pairing of Eric Garcia and Clement Lenglet. While Lenglet is a good backup option, it is worrying that the Frenchman will have to play ninety minutes in a must-win game, especially after a poor display at the weekend.

Pedri will return to the starting lineup after a brilliant cameo at the Ciudad de Valencia. The youngster came off the bench and scored Barcelona’s second goal of the night at the weekend. He will be joined by Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets.

In attack, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will look to extend his goalscoring record in the high-pressure game. He will be assisted by Ousmane Dembele on the right and Ferran Torres on the left wing.

Predicted Barcelona XI: ter Stegen; Araujo, Lenglet, Garcia, Alba; Pedri, Busquets, Frenkie; Dembele, Aubameyang, Torres

What to expect from Eintracht Frankfurt?

The visitors arrive at Camp Nou knowing well that they are the underdogs. With the pressure off their shoulders, the Eintracht players could play some carefree football to could help them outplay the hosts.

Kevin Trapp pulled off some sensational saves against Barcelona in the first leg and will look to continue the same when he faces the Blaugranes tomorrow. He will start in between the sticks.

Tuta’s red card late in the first leg rules him out of tomorrow’s clash in what is a big blow to Oliver Glasner’s plans. The three-man defence will instead consist of Martin Hinteregger, Evan Ndicka and Makoto Hasebe.

The midfield is expected to feature four names, with the two central players forming a double pivot. Kristijan Jakic and Sebastian Rode could anchor the midfield on the night, with Filip Kostic and Ansgar Knauff playing as the wide midfielders.

Glasner’s system is heavily dependent on two attacking midfielders. At Camp Nou, the manager will look to deploy Daichi Kamada and Jesper Lindstrom in those positions. In front of the duo will be the team’s number nine, Rafael Borre.

Possible Eintracht lineup: Trapp; Hinteregger, Hasebe, Ndicka; Knauff, Rode, Jakic, Kostic, Lindstrom, Kamada; Borre

Marquee player

Filip Kostic

All eyes on Kostic. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)

Filip Kostic was heavily hyped ahead of the first leg last week and did not disappoint. The Serbian was a constant threat down Barcelona’s right-flank and kept Ronald Araujo on his toes throughout the ninety minutes.

Ahead of the second leg, Kostic will be motivated to play a bigger role for his side. The 29-year-old will look to capitalise on Barcelona’s lack of a natural right-back and their shaky central defensive pairing.

Match facts

Barcelona previous games: WWWDW

Levante 2-3 Barcelona | La Liga
Eintracht Frankfurt 1-1 Barcelona | UEFA Europa League
Barcelona 1-0 Sevilla | La Liga
Real Madrid 0-4 Barcelona | La Liga
Galatasaray 1-2 Barcelona | UEFA Europa League

Eintracht Frankfurt previous games: DDDDL

Eintracht Frankfurt 1-2 SC Freiburg | Bundesliga 2021-22
Eintracht Frankfurt 1-1 Barcelona | UEFA Europa League
Eintracht Frankfurt 0-0 Greuther Furth | Bundesliga 2021-22
Eintracht Frankfurt 1-1 Nurnberg | Bundesliga 2021-22
RB Leipzig 0-0 Eintracht Frankfurt | Bundesliga 2021-22

Head to head record

Eintracht Frankfurt 1-1 Barcelona | UEFA Europa League

Key Stats

  • Barcelona have won 14 of their last 16 home games against German sides in European competitions.
  • Eintracht Frankfurt are unbeaten in their last nine games against Spanish sides in European competition.
  • Barcelona have not lost in their last 15 games.
  • Eintracht Frankfurt have not won in their last six games across all competitions.
  • Kostic has 15 goal contibutions across two competitions this season.

Prediction

Despite the opposition being high in quality and motivation, the home advantage will show its effect on the night. A full Camp Nou is expected, and having their fans behind their back will push Xavi’s side to a win.

Barca Universal predict

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