STAR PREVIEW: Chelsea v Eintracht Frankfurt

Chelsea might have lost their 100% record in the Europa League but they got a fine result from their trip to Frankfurt last week and they can seal a place in the final this evening against Eintracht.

The Blues were in trouble after Luka Jovic superbly steered in Filip Kostic’s ball early on, but they responded superbly last week and Pedro’s away goal was entirely deserved. Indeed, they actually got stronger as the game went on – Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who combined with Pedro for the goal, went close twice whilst David Luiz deserved better than to see his fine free-kick hit the bar in the 61st minute.

After a bright opening when they were initially at sea, Chelsea ended up with 67% possession, 16 shots compared to six for the hosts, five shots on target compared to just one for Frankfurt, and won the corner count 11-4. It was a performance that probably deserved a better result but Chelsea’s home form has been pretty much the bedrock of their season. They have won every home game they’ve played in Europe this season and they’re on a nine-match unbeaten run at home, with seven wins in that time.

Frankfurt will be boosted massively by the potential return from injury of Sebastian Haller, who is one of a deadly front three (when fit) of himself, Luka Jovic and Ante Rebic (has now scored nine UEL goals and has struck 18 times in the Bundesliga), and by no means are they down and out. They beat Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter Milan and Benfica to get here and have scored two or more goals in five of their six Europa League away ties.

Chelsea v Eintracht Frankfurt
UEFA Europa League Semi-Final 2nd Leg
20:00 BT Sport 3 / BT Sport 4K UHD

HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches, past 10 years)
MAY 2019 EUROPA LEAGUE Eintracht Frankfurt 1-1 Chelsea

They have achieved much of that success in the peak of their season, however, and they now appear to be tiring towards the end of their season whilst Chelsea – at home at least – are ending it more strongly than many predicted. Frankfurt conceded 6 first half goals at Leverkusen and haven’t won a game since their 2-0 victory against Benfica in the quarter-final, and there must be a concern that they don’t have the same punch that they did during this run.

That said, as we’ve seen this week, things are never easy at this level and Slavia Prague gave Chelsea an almighty fright in the quarters after the Blues had taken a 3-0 lead in the second leg at Stamford Bridge and both sides can have their say in what could be another eventful night.


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