Europa League final: Glasner and Eintracht prepared for 'mixture of Barcelona and West Ham' in Rangers tussle

By Sports Desk May 17, 2022

Oliver Glasner has prepared Eintracht Frankfurt to face "a mixture of Barcelona and West Ham" when they go up against Rangers in Wednesday's Europa League final.

Eintracht and Rangers both hope to end lengthy European trophy droughts when they tussle at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in Seville on Wednesday.

The Germans last enjoyed such a success in 1980 when they won the UEFA Cup, while Rangers' most recent continental triumph came eight years earlier in the European Cup Winners' Cup.

Neither side was expected to reach the showpiece, with Eintracht impressively seeing off Barcelona before knocking out West Ham, while Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig were among the teams dispatched by Rangers.

Of course, both BVB and Leipzig enjoyed significantly superior seasons domestically than Eintracht, who ultimately finished 16 points behind the latter in fourth.

But he dismissed the importance of Rangers already beating two teams who are supposedly better than Die Adler.

"You can't do these calculations. If you win versus second and fourth in the Bundesliga then you are favourite because we were 11th in the Bundesliga? It doesn't matter. Both teams deserve to play this final," Glasner told reporters.

The Eintracht coach also seemingly believes the previous assignments against Barca and the Hammers will have put Eintracht in a good position to get to grips with what Rangers can offer.

"We've analysed Rangers – they're a mixture of West Ham and Barcelona," he added. "You can see the Dutch influence [of coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst] with the passing triangles, but [they have] a British mentality.

"We have to be in top form tomorrow. We are in great shape so we will be playing with lots of enthusiasm. The whole of Europe is looking forward to this match."

Asked to elaborate on what defines a "British mentality", Glasner said: "Rangers are a team that play lots of duels, and they are very robust in those duels.

"They have great desire to run back after losing ball, and not just the full-backs. [James] Tavernier is top scorer in Europa League, which shows he runs a lot; the defensive midfielders want to work hard there as well, they're always ready with this readiness to defend but also to go forward.

"That is combined with a very good [style of] football. They play fast with few contacts [direct], so this is how they scored their goals.

"They can cross early, against [Sporting] Braga and Leipzig they scored like this. This is the British mentality."

Sebastian Rode is a key man for Eintracht, with his experience and leadership on the pitch important commodities for Glasner.

While Rode has enjoyed a distinguished career, representing Dortmund and Bayern Much in the past, even he recognises Wednesday's final will be the pinnacle for him.

"This is the highlight of my career, it's one game and it'll be gigantic tomorrow," he said.

"We of course in the last few weeks have seen the euphoria. If you go shopping everyone talks about [their route to the final] and that everyone wants us to win.

"We get goosebumps thinking about that. Both fans will create a crazy atmosphere."

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