West Ham Hosts Frankfurt in First Leg
Neither West Ham nor Eintracht Frankfurt have been in great form, but they’ve both managed to survive and advance to the Europa League semifinal. These teams last met over 45 years ago as West Ham knocked off Frankfurt in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup semifinal, but Thursday promises to be a momentous occasion for both clubs.
West Ham are the favorites to win the first leg at home, but Eintracht Frankfurt are undefeated in 10 Europa League matches this season. We’ll run through all of the important facts and figures in our West Ham vs Eintracht Frankfurt match preview.
West Ham vs Eintracht Frankfurt Match Preview
- Date/Time: Thursday 3 p.m. ET
- Location: London Stadium, London, England
- TV: Paramount+
West Ham’s Center Back Crisis
- Quarterfinal Results: Lyon 0-3 West Ham; West Ham 1-1 Lyon
- Last Five (All Competitions): L,D,W,L,D
- Injuries and Suspensions: D Angelo Ogbonna (ACL), D Kurt Zouma (ankle), D Issa Diop (Achilles)
Angelo Ogbonna has been out for a while but the recent injuries to Issa Diop and Kurt Zouma have given David Moyes a selection crisis at center back. With Craig Dawson as the Hammers’ only healthy center back, Moyes had to get creative on Sunday vs Chelsea. He deployed five at the back with fullbacks Ben Johnson and Aaron Cresswell as makeshift center backs. West Ham frustrated Chelsea for 90 long minutes but Christian Pulisic’s late goal gave the Blues the win. Moyes will have the same issues heading into Thursday’s match.
The Hammers certainly weren’t expected to get this far in the Europa League, but have put in some incredible performances as of late. Despite waning form in the Premier League, West Ham have knocked off some excellent teams in Sevilla and Lyon. It looked like the Hammers had their backs against the wall heading into the second leg of the quarterfinal vs. Lyon, but they smashed the French side 3-0 to win 4-1 on aggregate. The UEL semifinal odds favor West Ham to advance despite their injury issues.
Frankfurt Struggling for Form
- Quarterfinal Results: Barcelona 2-3 Frankfurt; Frankfurt 1-1 Barcelona
- Last Five (All Competitions): D,L,W,L,D
- Injuries and Suspensions: D Christopher Lenz (toe), D Evan N’Dicka (suspension), M Kristijan Jakic (suspension)
Despite winning just one match in their last nine in all competitions, Eintracht Frankfurt have bossed the Europa League this season. They’re the only remaining team in the UEL without a loss in European competition and they picked up a massive 3-2 win at the Camp Nou to knock off Barcelona in the quarterfinal. Unfortunately, two players who featured in the unlikely win will miss the first leg of West Ham vs Eintracht Frankfurt due to suspension.
Center back Evan N’Dicka leads the team in minutes, but his presence in the center of the defense will be missed on Thursday. Defensive midfielder Kristijan Jakic will also be on the sidelines and it’s up to manager Oliver Glasner to select a team that will keep the fixture in the balance upon returning to Germany for the second leg. Frankfurt are deep in midfield, but N’Dicka’s absence will certainly be felt.
What to Watch
Eintracht Frankfurt have conceded in their last eight Europa League matches, yet have managed to go unbeaten during that stretch. It’ll be interesting to see if either team can capitalize on the other’s absences, but there are exciting attacking talents on both sides.
In Declan Rice, West Ham may just have the best player in this fixture and it’ll be interesting to see if the Hammers captain can lead them to another European victory. Also, Said Benrahma, Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen are all capable of causing problems for Frankfurt’s defense. On the other side, Frankfurt winger Filip Kostic and striker Rafael Borre will be the main offensive outlets.
This West Ham vs Eintracht Frankfurt match preview would be incomplete without running through the odds. West Ham are currently ½-goal favorites and listed at -110 to win while Frankfurt have +310 odds to come out on top. A draw is priced at +255. Both teams are more than capable of getting on the board and the over/under total is listed at 2½. Notably, Frankfurt’s team total is O/U ½ even though they’ve scored in each of their 10 Europa League matches this season.