Eintracht Frankfurt fears for Jesper Lindstrom. The offensive force injured himself after a duel in training and had to be carried off the pitch. Especially with a view to the game in Naples, his failure would be a hard blow.
After around three quarters of an hour of Eintracht Frankfurt training, the most die-hard fans peeked out from under their umbrellas a little further on Wednesday. Reason for the sudden excitement: After a previously unspectacular but extremely uncomfortable session in sleet, Jesper Lindström suddenly rolled on the ground. After a confusing duel with defensive edge Hrvoje Smolcic, the Dane grabbed his left ankle and quickly signaled that something was wrong.
Lindstrom is carried off the field
Lindström, who was treated for minutes, was then carried off the field by substitute goalkeeper Jens Grahl and a supervisor and heaved into a car. First remote diagnosis: That didn’t look good.
The nature and severity of the injury is currently still open. But it is clear that Lindström’s use is very questionable at first. The 23-year-old, who was brought directly to the professional camp for further examinations, is threatened with a longer break. The bad news at Eintracht does not stop.
Unity in Naples without Kolo Muani and Lindstrom?
A failure of Lindström would be particularly dramatic in view of this Round of 16 second leg in the Champions League at SSC Napoli next Wednesday (9 p.m.). Since Randal Kolo Muani, who also stood out in the training game on Wednesday with a goal worth seeing and a no less spectacular side kick, will be red-banned, coach Oliver Glasner will have to rebuild the offensive. But who are the alternatives?
In the final game, which took place completely without Lindström, Rafael Borré played together with Kolo Muani and Mario Götze in the supposed A-offensive. The Colombian, who would have earned a starting XI, therefore has the best chance of at least one chance of probation. At least against VfB Stuttgart on Saturday (3.30 p.m.) this option should be sufficient. Borré has proven he can score goals and is comfortable alongside a second striker.
Borre gets his chance
However, the offensive puzzle could be much trickier against Naples. Since Kolo Muani and Lindström are by far the fastest players in the team, Eintracht is threatened with a speed disadvantage against the physically strong Italians. Borré could move to the front and form the offensive triangle together with Götze and Daichi Kamada, who acted in training alongside Marcel Wenig on the supposed replacement double six. The trio could probably not develop the power that characterized Eintracht for long stretches of this season.
Faride Alidou is someone who would definitely have this speed. However, it became clear again on Wednesday that he and Lucas Alario are not really reinforcements at the moment. Alidou did show a few nice approaches and repeatedly interspersed (unprofitable) climbers. The fact that he was standing in front of the empty goal and fired a shot exactly at the body of Sebastian Rode, who had hurried back, was symbolic. Alario remained largely invisible not only because of his cap pulled low over his face.
Glasner with many construction sites
Before the trend-setting games against Stuttgart and Naples, Eintracht coach Glasner not only has to deal with the form dent in his team and the fan exclusion in Naples tease Lindström’s possibly serious injury suddenly creates a bottleneck in attack and is likely to further worsen the mood. The great euphoria in the Bundesliga and the Champions League is a thing of the past for Eintracht just in time for the Hessian winter comeback.