Kamada’s creativity It will be crucial for Rangers to keep a close eye on Daichi Kamada in the final third. The Japanese playmaker is a lovely, silky player and was impressive when Eintracht Frankfurt saw off West Ham in the last four. Even Declan Rice found it difficult to pin Kamada down when Eintracht won the first leg at the London Stadium. West Ham never seemed to know what to do with Kamada, who plays as one of the two attacking midfielders in Oliver Glasner’s 3-4-2-1. He had a role in Eintracht’s opening goal, was in the right place to tap home the winner after Djibril Sow’s shot was saved and was unlucky to see a deflected shot hit the woodwork during the final stages, so Rangers will need to keep a close eye on the 25-year-old. If Kamada is given too much space to dribble inside from the left and play clever passes then Rangers will be in trouble.
Borre dropping deep Eintracht’s Colombian forward Rafael Borré is a very clever player. Borré lacks physicality but his movement is smart and he is adept at linking the play. He knows when to pull away from markers to receive a pass and make space for others. Rangers need to be careful of the runners. Borre is unlikely to stay in a central position all the time. He drifts a lot and lets Eintracht’s attacking midfielders run past him. It was Jens Petter Hauge, who can fill in if the dangerous Jesper Lindstrøm is unavailable, who made a diagonal run to reach a long ball during the move that led to West Ham’s Aaron Cresswell being sent off at Deutsche Bank Park.
The wing-backs Eintracht’s system gives them a different dimension and suits their squad. Above all it brings two of their most important players into the picture. Wing-backs are crucial for a side using a back three and Eintracht’s are excellent. The left flank is patrolled by Filip Kostic, who used his hammer of a left foot to score twice when the Bundesliga side stunned Barcelona at the Camp Nou in the quarter-finals, and Ansgar Knauff is an electrifying presence on the right. Knauff, a 20-year-old German on loan from Borussia Dortmund, has pace to burn and loves contributing to the attack, as he demonstrated by heading in Borré’s cross after 49 seconds when Frankfurt beat West Ham in London. Rangers will need to pin down both wing-backs.
Their fans They are loud, passionate and will travel in numbers. They give the team extra strength.
Issues in possession Eintracht are a good reactive side. Their speed makes them very effective on the break and they have shown during this run that they are capable of absorbing pressure. Evan Ndicka is a very good defender and will be even more important with Martin Hinteregger missing. Kevin Trapp is an outstanding goalkeeper. But there could be problems for Eintracht if Rangers play a more cautious game and make themselves difficult to break down. The German team do not look as convincing when the onus is on them to attack. Their home record is poor this season. They have won only twice at home since Christmas, which is a surprising given that the atmosphere is one of the best in Europe.
Set pieces Eintracht’s set pieces are not particularly dangerous and it was a surprise that West Ham did not hurt them more from dead-ball situations. It was one of Eintracht’s biggest concerns when they faced David Moyes’s side. They were worried about being overpowered and there was a glaring lack of organization when West Ham equalized during the first leg, Kurt Zouma rising unchallenged to head across goal and the unmarked Michail Antonio scoring at the far post. However West Ham’s delivery was not good enough for much of the tie. Trapp relieved a lot of pressure by commanding his area and claiming a lot of crosses, though Eintracht were not entirely comfortable when playing against 10 men in the second leg. West Ham were allowed some decent headed chances but were not accurate enough.
A lack of incision Eintracht do not have a top No 9. Borré does plenty of good work but has scored only 11 goals this season. Gonçalo Paciência has struggled. Kamada, Lindstrøm and Hauge have had low-scoring campaigns. The encouraging thing for Eintracht is that they share the goals around; the worry for them is that they do not have enough ruthless finishers.