This week we are greeted with the Second Qualifying Rounds for the Europa League and this Thursday, Eintracht Frankfurt will take on FC Flora at their A. Le Coq Arena in Estonia. Eintracht Frankfurt will be hoping they can follow in their same steps as last season, which saw them progress to the Semi-Finals of the Europa League before losing to Chelsea on penalties. As for Flora, with every round they progress through they will be setting a record with this being their first time in the competition.
Flora finds themselves midway through their domestic season, which has so far seen them play 20 fixtures in which they have secured 17 wins, one draw and just two defeats. This record has rewarded them with a five-point lead at the top of the table. The host’s last defeat came seven games ago showing the strong run of form they are currently enduring. Five of their last six games have ended in victories, following their latest win over Maardu who they eased to a 3-0 win over. Before this, Flora had gone up against Radnicki Nis in the First Europa League Qualifying Round and secured an aggregate scoreline of 4-2 after winning the first leg 2-0 and drawing the second 2-2.
Eintracht Frankfurt will be hoping they can better their previous result in the Europa League, or at least match it. However, considering their quality they should not be worrying about their opponents until the Group stages at least. Frankfurt has only been involved in two friendly fixtures since the end of their season and they got off to a horrific start in their first. Young Boys stood in their way for their first friendly fixture and after 90 minutes, the German side found themselves 5-1 down. Frankfurt thankfully found better form in their most recent and following game, which saw them secure a 3-1 win over Luzern.
Flora manager, Jürgen Henn will understand his side are clear underdogs for this fixture, however, in their current form Flora have a great chance of causing an upset. With his side displaying strong form, we are expecting Jürgen Henn to make minimal changes on Thursday. Richard Aland has shown his strength in goal, with the keeper keeping two clean sheets in his last three games and will surely keep his spot in goal. In front, expect to see defender Henrik Pürg who has bagged two in his last two. Martin Miller should keep his spot upfront, as well as Markus Poom in midfield after the pair both got on the scoresheet last time out.
Eintracht Frankfurt has a fully fit squad, with no suspensions to take over to Estonia this Thursday. However, they will be without the prolific striker Luka Jovic after the promising forward joined Real Madrid. Also, French striker Sebastien Haller will be missing from the squad after recently joining West Ham. We are expecting to see Ante Rebic line up with Filip Kostic upfront on Thursday, with the likes of Gelson Fernandes and Jonathan de Guzman behind them in midfield.
It is evident that this fixture looks set to be an Eintracht Frankfurt win, due to the gulf in quality between the two sides. However, Frankfurt has looked shaky and they come up against a side that is full of confidence. Nevertheless, we are still backing the win for Frankfurt, as their superior quality should hand them a comfortable win. With that said, both sides have been involved in games with plenty of goals and an over 2.5 goals market could be a winner.