EUROPA LEAGUE THURSDAY: The Ultra previews Thursday’s Europa League semi-final second legs between EINTRACHT FRANKFURT v WEST HAM and RANGERS v RB LEIPZIG both including a recommended BETDAQ bet and extended match stats.
EINTRACHT FRANKFURT V WEST HAM
8pm It’s crunch time in the Europa League Semi-Finals on Thursday night, and both ties are set up perfectly with only one goal between the sides. It should be another dramatic night on BETDAQ Betting Exchange! Once again I have to say it, it’s such a shame we can’t have one game at 5-45pm and one at 8pm! Nevertheless, we start in Germany as Eintracht Frankfurt host West Ham. Although West Ham haven’t been playing their best football for a while now, they were actually unlucky in the first leg. They created an xG of 2.86 and they should have definitely got a draw, if not won the game. That got the bad breaks and now have a tonne of work to do. They will take a lot of confidence from the fact that they were able to beat Lyon 3-0 away from home in the second leg, but this is a decent step up in class here. Lyon were having an average season in France, while Eintracht Frankfurt are a solid Bundesliga side. They had a terrible start to the season, but they have been playing better lately and sit in mid-table. They do concede plenty of chances, so West Ham definitely still have a chance of getting through here, plus it’s a huge positive in this situation that away goals don’t count anymore.
It’s no surprise that we have an open market here. You wouldn’t be very confident on Eintracht Frankfurt winning in 90 minutes, especially when they have a one goal advantage too. They do give up a lot of chances so I can’t see them playing for a 0-0, and we should see drama at some stage. West Ham don’t have a lot of positives in the Premier League recently – they were outplayed again by Arsenal at the weekend. They would have had one eye on this tie of course, but it’s always a bad sign when Arsenal are out-fighting you when you have home advantage. If you look at their xG figures it’s always going to be a big concern – they just aren’t creating the same volume of chances over the last few weeks that they have been. Any fans of xG would have been against them, and made a handsome profit recently. Although I do have my worries about West Ham, I do feel laying Eintracht Frankfurt is a good option here at 2.6. For me that price is too short and I would actually have an even more open market. West Ham created their highest xG figure for a while against Frankfurt in the first leg and I expect them to make a very good game of this. A draw isn’t a bad result for Frankfurt too and I can see them trying to protect their one goal lead heading into the second half. I’m going to keep stakes small because West Ham clearly aren’t at their best, but they can get a result here.
The Ultra Says:
Two points lay (liability) Eintracht Frankfurt to beat West Ham at 2.6 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.
You can view all markets here -> https://betdaq.biz/FraWes
● Eintracht Frankfurt take a 2-1 lead back to Germany for the second leg. Eintracht have progressed from 22 of their previous 25 two-legged affairs in major UEFA European competition when winning the first leg, while they have never been eliminated after winning the first leg away from home (6/6).
● The last team to progress to a UEFA Europa League final after suffering defeat in the first leg of the semi-finals was Liverpool in 2015-16 (3-1 on aggregate versus Villarreal). Before this season, only four of the 17 teams to lose in the first leg of the final four have still managed to qualify for the showpiece.
● Eintracht Frankfurt are aiming to reach a European final for the first time since the 1980 UEFA Cup (v Borussia Mönchengladbach), when they won their last European trophy. Frankfurt could become the first German side to appear in both a UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League final.
● West Ham will face a German side away from home in Europe for the first time since the first leg of the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1975-76 – a 2-1 defeat away to Eintracht Frankfurt. West Ham are yet to win away to German opposition in three attempts, also drawing against 1. FC Magdeburg and losing to Borussia Dortmund in 1965-66.
● In their history as a professional club, Eintracht Frankfurt have only lost one semi-final match when playing at home (P12 W9 D2), losing 0-3 to Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the DFB-Pokal in 1992-93. Their last semi-final match on home soil saw them draw 1-1 with Chelsea in this competition in 2018-19.
● Daichi Kamada has been directly involved in 14 goals in 18 starts for Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Europa League (11 goals and three assists), including scoring or assisting in all three knockout stage rounds for the German side this season (Round of 16 v Real Betis, quarter-finals v Barcelona and semi-finals v West Ham).
● West Ham’s Declan Rice has made 182 ball carries in the UEFA Europa League this season, second only to Barcelona’s Eric García (191). The total distance of Rice’s carries amounts to 2,083 metres, more than 400 metres more than any other central midfield player in 2021-22.
● Eintracht Frankfurt’s Filip Kostic has created more chances following a carry (moving 5+ metres with the ball) than any other player in the UEFA Europa League this season (9) – indeed, he has generated the most shots after a carry overall, between shots (10) and chances created (9).
RANGERS V RB LEIPZIG
8pm Next we go to Scotland as Rangers host RB Leipzig. Although Rangers are one goal down from the first leg, I don’t think that they will be too unhappy. They have lost their last three away games in this competition, and they were never strong away from home. If you take out their famous Dortmund win then their away record is very poor – given the form that RB Leipzig went into that tie in then to “only” lose 1-0 was a decent result for Rangers in my opinion and it gives them a fighting chance here. I know beating RB Leipzig is easier said than done, but Rangers are in the game, they have a great home record and Ibrox will be absolutely rocking. The big question here is are Rangers good enough to beat this RB Leipzig side, and unfortunately for Rangers fans the answer to that question in my opinion is no. Rangers haven’t been at their best this season since Steven Gerrard left. After a draw in the Old Firm Derby at the weekend against Celtic they have gone from going last season unbeaten to not winning the title this season, and although they have had a fantastic run in the Europa League they have had two pretty easy draws in the last two rounds. There’s a pretty big gulf in class between the sides here, and I’m happy to take the 2.04 on RB Leipzig.
Although I’m confident on the RB Leipzig win here, there are reasons to limit stakes and issues to worry about. Rangers managed a draw here with Dortmund, and although Dortmund have been disappointing this season they are ahead of RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga. As I said above, the atmosphere will be rocking too and this can be a difficult place to come and win. And lastly, while RB Leipzig pretty much bossed the first leg they didn’t create a massive xG figure – they only deserved a 1-0 win. That being said, they kept Rangers down to an xG of 0.35 and given that RB Leipzig take a one goal advantage into this tie, Rangers have to go chasing the game. We might have a cagey start, perhaps even 0-0 at half-time, but once Rangers open up and start getting desperate that will be the perfect situation for the counter attacking style of RB Leipzig. I know it will be a difficult night for Leipzig and I am going to keep stakes limited, but I do believe that there is a gulf in class between the sides and that Leipzig should win the game with their counter attacking football.
The Ultra Says:
Two points win RB Leipzig to beat Rangers at 2.04 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.
You can view all markets here -> https://betdaq.biz/RanRbl
● Following on from the first leg being the first ever meeting between Rangers and RB Leipzig, the Scottish side will host their German counterparts for the very first time. They are winless in their last three home games versus German sides however (D1 L2), since beating Werder Bremen in March 2008.
● RB Leipzig’s only previous encounter away from home in Scotland was a 2-1 defeat to Celtic in the UEFA Champions League group stages in 2018-19, meaning each of the three matches between themselves and Scottish sides have all been won by the home side.
● Since the formation of the UEFA Europa League in 2009, only four sides (from 17 ties) have managed to overturn a first-leg semi-final defeat to progress to the final, however, each of those occasions followed on from a single-goal loss in the first leg, with Liverpool (v Villareal) the last side to do so in 2015-16.
● RB Leipzig managed 10 shots during the first leg at home, their fewest since dropping into the UEFA Europa League earlier this season, with Angeliño’s winner the final shot of the match in the 85th minute. Rangers, however, have only managed six shots on target across their last 300 minutes of action in the competition.
● Rangers are hosting a major UEFA European semi-final for the first time since April 2008, in the UEFA Cup against Fiorentina; they’ve managed to reach the final in four of their previous five semi-final appearances in major UEFA European competition (1961, 1967 & 1972 Cup Winners’ Cup and 2008 UEFA Cup). Coming in to the 2021-22 campaign, only Porto (5/6) and Sevilla (6/6) have a higher progression rate from major UEFA European semi-finals than Rangers (80% – min. 5 ties).
● RB Leipzig are looking to progress to their very first European final as a club, with this their first ever two-legged semi-final. The German side have however progressed from four of their six other two-legged knockout ties in European competition.
● Rangers’ James Tavernier (5) has scored more home goals in this season’s UEFA Europa League than any other player, scoring via a penalty in each of his last three games in the competition at Ibrox. Should he score a penalty goal in this match, he would be the first player to score via this method in four consecutive home matches in the competition.
● Ten of Christopher Nkunku’s 11 goals for RB Leipzig in major European competition have come this season, leaving only Karim Benzema (14), Robert Lewandowski (13) and Sébastien Haller (11) with more goals across 2021-22 in the Champions League, Europa League and Conference League prior to the second leg matches. Indeed, he is currently tied with Timo Werner and Emil Forsberg for the most goals in Leipzig’s short European history (excluding qualifiers).