EA new challenge for the capital hoppers. On Wednesday the Supercup task in the Finnish capital Helsinki, this Saturday the first away game in this still young Bundesliga season in Berlin. Eintracht is getting a foretaste of what will determine the rhythm from September: games in “English mode”, as coach Oliver Glasner described it on Friday before departure for the German capital. Three games in seven days.
The game against Hertha BSC (3.30 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Bundesliga and on Sky) is also a turning point. “The Supercup was definitely the end of the Europa League trip,” said Glasner. “Now it’s over.” Now the seriousness of everyday life begins. The bad 1: 6 against champions Bayern Munich is over, forgotten and ticked off. “Now the focus is on the Bundesliga.”
It is, if you will, a kind of new start for the Frankfurt team, which has big plans in its core business, the Bundesliga, and wants to be in the top six at the end of the 34 tests in order to secure its European future. A win at Hertha is almost mandatory for that. And, of course, the only option Glasner was aiming for.
A system change is possible
“Obviously, we want to win,” said the Austrian football coach, who appeared extremely relaxed despite the 2-0 loss to Real Madrid. “Now there are three normal weeks.” The fact that, with the exception of two long-term injuries, all professionals are “fit and ready for action”, as Glasner said with satisfaction, also means that the Eintracht coach can now start the rotation – but does not have to. After all: He promised that “one or the other can be used”.
It seems certain: Mario Götze will return to the starting XI, just like he did in the victorious cup game in Magdeburg. Even a system change from a three-man to a four-man chain is possible, Glasner indicated when looking at the opponent. He nevertheless attributed a lot of potential to Hertha, which had been chronically weak for years. “They have a very strong midfield and a lot of quality.” And in Kevin-Prince Boateng they have someone who was one of the leaders in Frankfurt the year they won the cup.
In Berlin it’s still Boateng. The offensive player is also at the forefront with words. “Eintracht and us at Hertha are two teams on an equal footing,” said Boateng before the reunion. An optimistic assessment. In the past few years it has been Eintracht on three occasions that has mostly fulfilled its tasks in the capital with flying colors and has always been victorious.
Filip Kostic also had a part in it. His move to Juventus Turin officially took place on Friday. The left winger worked in Frankfurt for almost four years, scoring 33 goals and providing 64 assists in 172 games in all competitions. The 29-year-old Serb has mostly been the heart and soul of Eintracht teams that have finished seventh, ninth, fifth and eleventh in the Bundesliga in recent years. Possibly his best game was played by Kostic in Barcelona. When Eintracht inflicted a nasty defeat on big FC 3-2 at the Camp Nou, Kostic scored twice and also shone once as an assist.
Sporting Director Markus Krösche said on Friday: “The development of Eintracht Frankfurt in recent years and not least winning the Europa League will always be linked to Filip Kostic. Because of his great merits and impeccable conduct, as well as the contract that expires next year, the joint agreement is a mutually satisfactory solution. To a certain extent, it is always an award for the work of the entire club when a player arouses the interest of the international elite.” Kostic has a contract with Juve until mid-2026.
In the away game at Hertha, as in the Supercup, Real Christopher Lenz will play on the Kostic side. “Chris did very well in Helsinki,” Glasner praised the 27-year-old. Glasner ruled out that the new left-back Luca Pellegrini, whose loan Eintracht confirmed late on Friday evening, is already part of the travel squad for Berlin.
“A recent signing isn’t going along.” The 23-year-old Pellegrini comes from Juventus Turin and played 69 games in Serie A there a chain of four. In doing so, he makes us even more variable in terms of structure and defense and generally increases our flexibility,” said Krösche.
Definitely Daichi Kamada. Although the Japanese failed to make it 1-0 against Real, the Eintracht coach was impressed with his performance. “He ripped off a lot.” Now the technically talented driver only has to hit the goal. Speaking of goal: For the test at Hertha, Glasner has plenty of opportunities to twirl offensively. In addition to regular Rafael Borré, Randal Kolo Muani is also pushing into the starting eleven – and Lucas Alario, the self-confident, proud Argentinian, anyway.
Having moved from Leverkusen to Frankfurt to be the first choice there immediately, Alario has to be patient. Like Götze, which should be carefully and carefully integrated. The fact that the World Champion was not there from the start of the Supercup was something he took professionally. “He fully understood,” said Glasner.