After climbing to second place in LaLiga Santander with their victory against Sevilla (1-0), Barcelona visits Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday in the first leg of the Europa League quarterfinals with the aim of continuing to recover lost prestige on the old continent.
The Catalans have not lost a game since last January 20, when they fell in extra time in the Copa del Rey round of 16 against Ahletic Club (3-2). They arrive in Germany and will face the Colombian Rafael Santos Borré, who has them in his sights.
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Barcelona arrives with wings
Thirteen games without defeat in all competitions, six consecutive victories in the League and two knockout ties won in the Europa League against Napoli and Galatasaray confirm the great moment of Xavi Hernández’s team.
Now him Barça faces the European tie against Eintracht not only as the favourite, but as the main contender -by history, game and results- to win the title.
In the Deutsche Bank Park, the Barcelona group will try to give a new blow on the table and achieve a result that puts the tie on track to be able to finish off their pass to the semifinals at the Camp Nou.
He will do it without the last-minute loss of striker Memphis Depay, with an overload in the semimembranosus of the left thigh, and without defender Dani Alves, who is not registered for European competition.
For the duel against the German team, Xavi is still without defenders Sergiño Dest and Samuel Umtiti, midfielder Sergi Roberto and striker Ansu Fatiall of them injured, nor with striker Luuk De Jong, who at the end of last week tested positive for coronavirus.
Without Alves nor the injured Dest, the Barça coach will surely move Araujo to the right side, as he did at the Bernabéu, which would allow Eric García to regain ownership by sharing the axis of defense with Piqué.
The rest of the eleven could be the same one that last Sunday took second place from Sevilla in LaLiga and that is becoming more and more common.
It’s not a good time
For its part, Eintracht Frankfurt heads into the match against Barcelona after earning a disappointing goalless draw against bottom side Fürth in the Bundesliga and with which he lost the possibility of recovering ground in his fight for European places.
For the German team, the visit of the Catalan team will be a greater challenge and also different from that of Fürth, which focused on defending the scoreboard and against which Eintracht had to take the initiative all the time.
Against Barça, the Germans will not be obliged to carry the weight of the clash and they will be able to exploit some of the resources that have given them success against the Bundesliga greats such as counterattack and set pieces.
For this he has the wonderful left foot of Filip Kostic, whose movements down the left wing are often dangerous and his crosses and shots on goal are often poisonous.
In any case, the match against Barcelona is a special moment for Eintracht, which has defined the duel as a kind of holiday. And it is that the possibility of measuring itself with one of the historical ones of Europe is an opportunity to show itself for many players.
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