An in-form Barcelona will be seeking to make it to the Europa League semi-finals when they host an out-of-form Eintracht Frankfurt side at the Camp Nou for the second leg of their quarter-final tie on Thursday at 20:00GMT.
Can Barcelona Continue with their Good Form by Qualifying for the Semi-Finals?
A rejuvenated Barcelona side under Xavi Hernandez has soared to second on the La Liga table.
Currently, on a seven-match winning run in La Liga, the Blaugrana will hope this form is translated into the Europa league run when they face an awkward-looking fixture against a stubborn Eintracht side.
With the first leg ending in a 1-1 stalemate, both times have all to play for in the second leg in Spain on Thursday.
Can Eintracht Frankfurt Get Back to Winning Ways after Four Matches Without a Win Domestically and in the Europa League?
Eintracht shocked Barcelona in the first leg by taking the lead in the 48th minute via Ansgar Knauff’s strike. Xavi’s men had to fight to earn an equalizer via Ferran Torres in the 66th minute.
Eintracht subsequently displayed resolve and solidity when Tuta was sent off in the 78th minute, leaving them with a massive numerical disadvantage against one of Europe’s biggest clubs.
However, Eintracht held on for the 1-1 and they have a chance at the Camp Nou for a giant killing on Thursday.
Domestically, Barcelona have been in a spell-binding form where they have defeated all before them in recent matches. They have won nine out of the last ten matches, and they are currently on a seven-match winning run.
Xavi will be hoping his side can be ready for the stubborn German side as they bid to qualify for the semi-finals.
Eintracht Frankfurt, in their last nine matches against Spanish sides in European competitions, are unbeaten; they have won five and drawn four. This will be crucial going into the match against Barcelona.
Domestically, Eintracht’s form has taken a dip. They have won two out of their last five matches in the Bundesliga, including two draws and a loss. The loss came in the latest Bundesliga fixture against SC Freiburg (2-1).
Eintracht will hope they can get back to winning ways immediately in their clash with Barcelona.
Xavi will be without centre-back Samuel Umtiti; the 28-year-old Frenchman is side-lined with a fractured toe and has already missed 18 matches for the Blaugrana.
Left-winger Ansu Fati is a doubt for the clash against Eintracht, as the 19-year-old steps up his recovery from a hamstring injury.
Barcelona also have several other injury doubts for their Europa League quarter-final second leg match on Thursday; these include right-back Sergino Dest (injury to his biceps femoris muscle) and centre-forward Memphis Depay (thigh muscle strain).
Others include centre-back Gerard Pique (torn adductor muscle) and goalkeeper Arnau Tenas (muscle injury).
Frankfurt will be without goalkeeper Diant Ramaj; the 20-year-old suffered a meniscal injury on February 3rd, 2022.
The youngster has missed 12 matches for Eintracht so far this season, and he is a doubt for the clash with Barcelona on Thursday.
Centre-back Tuta was sent off in the first leg of the tie against Barcelona, which means he is suspended for the second leg at Camp Nou.
Possible Starting Lineups
ter Stegen; J. Alba, E. Garcia, G. Pique, R. Araujo; Gavi, S. Busquets, Pedri; F. Torres, P. Aubameyang, Adama
Trapp; A. Toure, M. Hinteregger, E, Ndicka; A. Knauff, K. Jakic, D. Sow, F. Kostic; J. Lindstrom, D. Kamada; R. S. B. Maury
Players to Watch
The Spaniard grabbed the equaliser in the first leg, and he will be central to Barcelona’s approach at the Camp Nou on Thursday.
Xavi’s side are expected to be on the front foot and enjoy massive possession and territory. Torres will be crucial in their ability to convert their chances.
Eintracht will be on the back foot for most of the match on Thursday, their defense, headed by Hinteregger will be crucial in shaping their chances of keeping a clean sheet and thus improving their capacity to advance to the semi-finals.
Expect Barcelona to dominate possession, play on the front foot, and press high on the pitch. Eintracht will seek to absorb the pressure and rely on counter-attacks to cause trouble to the Blaugrana.
Barcelona are favoured to win this match and progress to the semi-finals.
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