Forty-two years since their last appearance in a major European final, Eintracht Frankfurt will have another shot at continental glory.
The 1979/80 UEFA Cup winners will encounter last season’s Scottish Premiership champions Rangers in the Europa League final at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
A potential victory in the Seville showpiece would see Die Adler become the first-ever side to be crowned the Europa League winners and in turn help the fans forget about an underwhelming domestic campaign.
Despite reeling off a series of jaw-dropping performances in European football, Oliver Glasner’s lads had to settle for a first bottom-half Bundesliga finish in five years.
The time for redemption has come, as Frankfurt have their eyes firmly set on winning their first European accolade in the 21st century, following an utterly impressive Europa League campaign.
The 2021/22 Europa League final is available to watch live via soccer streaming sites.
Frankfurt’s Road to Seville
Frankfurt launched their Europa League journey in the group phase, finishing top of Group D without a single defeat (W3, D3) and as the only side in the section to hit double-digits.
Interestingly, except for a 1-1 draw at Fenerbahce on Matchday 6, Glasner’s men have won their remaining five Europa League fixtures outside the Deutsche Bank Park, each by a narrow one-goal margin.
Die Adler have gone undefeated in all 12 Europa League games this term, including all six in the competition’s knock-out stages (W4, D2), to make it to the final from the third attempt in four seasons.
Frankfurt’s inexorable knock-out run has seen them put the likes of Real Betis, Barcelona and West Ham United to the sword, winning all three away legs in the process.
After ousting Xavi’s Barca courtesy of a remarkable 3-2 second-leg triumph at Camp Nou, the Germans won both legs against West Ham in the semi-finals, each by a single-goal margin.
Europa League Final Preview
Given Frankfurt’s relatively sparse European experience, it comes as no surprise that this will be only their third-ever meeting with Scottish opposition in a UEFA-sanctioned fixture.
But they boast an impeccable record in such match-ups, having won two of their three previous meetings (D1) by an aggregate score of 14-5, including a brace of overwhelming victories over Rangers in the 1959/60 European Cup semi-finals.
That should inspire Die Adler’s bid to defy their embarrassing overall record on Spanish soil, as they’ve won just one of their 13 previous visits to the country (D3, L9).
Coming into this fixture, Glasner’s lads have drawn back-to-back Bundesliga matches after conceding the opening goal on both occasions, highlighting their fighting spirit.
Despite picking up a nasty hamstring injury against West Ham, star centre-back Martin Hinteregger reportedly fancies his chances of featuring in Seville.
Frankfurt captain Sebastian Rode said his teammate could still make a late comeback.
“Martin decided to ask for a second opinion about the injury and he’s not ruled himself out,” he said, as relayed by the Daily Record.
“He’s already working very hard. He is out cycling and running. He believes nothing is impossible and thinks he has a chance of playing.
“It would be incredibly important because he’s a huge figure for us in central defence.”
Frankfurt will still be without long-term absentees Diant Ramaj, Jesper Lindstrom and Danny da Costa, who are still on the sidelines nursing injuries.
Eintracht Frankfurt Potential Starting XI
(3-4-2-1): Kevin Trapp; Almamy Toure, Evan Ndicka, Tuta; Ansgar Knauff, Djibril Sow, Sebastian Rode, Filip Kostic; Daichi Kamada, Jens Petter Hauge; Rafael Borre.
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Rangers Prediction
Based on Frankfurt’s stellar European form outside the German borders, we expect Glasner’s men to shine when it matters the most and take home the trophy.