Champions League: Without Kolo Muani – Toothless Frankfurt in Naples?
Following a harebrained decree by the Italian government, there will be no Eintracht fans in Naples. And this despite the fact that the o:2 deficit from the home game weighs heavily enough for the Hessians. Will Napoli finally close the bag on Wednesday?
Signs and wonders still happen. Luciano Spalletti’s squad weakened for a brief moment after their brilliant performance in the Champions League, of all things. Against Lazio, they suffered their second defeat of the season and their first home defeat. However, one should not read too much into this slip-up, because the omens for advancing in the top flight are simply too good.
In front of a spectacular Diego Armando Maradona backdrop and with their own fans behind them, the duo of Victor Osimhen and Khvitsha Kvaratskhelia will be running hot in a completely different way. “Kvaradona” has 13 goals and 15 assists in the competition and regularly dribbles his opponents dizzy. Napoli is also the measure of all things in other respects. Whether it’s the depth of the squad thanks to Matteo Politano and Giovanni Simeone or the thoroughly solid defense under boss Kim. There’s almost nothing the Neapolitans can’t do, whether it’s standards or fast switching play.
Eintracht, on the other hand, has not won a match since the first leg of the CL. In the Bundesliga, the performances since then resemble a roller coaster ride. Two draws against Wolfsburg and Stuttgart, and a defeat against Leipzig are on the books. It almost seems as if Glasner’s eleven has lost its flow. How are you supposed to beat what is currently perhaps the best team in Europe if you can’t even dominate VfB Stuttgart?
Add to that the injury to Jesper Lindström, who will be missing as a creative impetus in attack. Also very bitter is the red suspension of Randal Kolo Muani, the most important player of the Hessians. Without the two key players in the offense and their own fans, it will be very difficult for a team like Frankfurt, which comes primarily through the emotions. Barring a miracle, SSC Napoli should also win the second leg and thus punch their ticket to the quarterfinals.