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Preview: Europa League semifinals 1st leg

How to watch West Ham vs Frankfurt, RB Leipzig vs Rangers live in the UEFA Europa League semifinals

April 28, 2022 By Ali M.
The Hammers host the German outfit for the first leg of the penultimate round while Rangers prepare to visit the in-form RB Leipzig.

Today is Thursday and that means only one thing: it's Europa League time! The UEFA tournament enters the semifinal stage this midweek, with the four remaining teams embarking on their battle to make it to the final in Sevilla.

A lot of the focus has been on West Ham, as the Premier League side aim to end their long wait for silverware. However, David Moyes' men will not get a free run at the trophy as their fellow semifinalists are tricky, RB Leipzig in particular. Here's everything you need to know about the first leg of the penultimate stage of the 2021/22 UEFA Europa League.

What are the semifinal match-ups for the 2021/22 UEFA Europa League campaign?

  • West Ham vs Eintracht Frankfurt

  • RB Leipzig vs Rangers

Preview

West Ham vs Eintracht Frankfurt

West Ham are enjoying one of their most remarkable seasons in recent memory, with the London outfit making it all the way to the Europa League semifinal. Yes, after a brilliant start to the 2021/22 Premier League campaign, the Hammers' English top-flight season has faltered as of late, but with a European title being in sight, it's obvious where their focus is. Victory in this competition would not only bring an end to their wait for silverware, having last won a major trophy in 1980 (the FA Cup), but it will also secure Rice and Co. a ticket to the UEFA Champions League next season. Unfortunately, a defensive injury crisis – more on that later – and poor form, having won only once in five outings, could derail West Ham's hopes.

Eintracht Frankfurt, on the other hand, are doing far worse domestically, sitting ninth in the Bundesliga table. However, the German outfit will fancy their odds of pulling off a surprise win after their remarkable quarterfinals victory over Barcelona. The Blaugrana were one of the favorites for the title, alongside Moyes' men, but after drawing 1-1 in Frankfurt, Die Adler beat the Spanish giants 3-2 at the Camp Nou to dump them out of the tournament. Once again, the German outfit do not enter this round as the favorites, with most betting on the London side to make it to the finals. Can Oliver Glasner's men defy the odds once more? Tune in to find out.

RB Leipzig vs Rangers

RB Leipzig will fancy their odds of getting their hands on the UEFA Europa League title, but what stands in their way of a spot in the final is Rangers, one of the trickiest teams in the tournament. Nonetheless, form favors the home side, with the appointment of Domenico Tedesco having completely lifted their fortunes. The Bundesliga outfit have overcome the likes of Real Sociedad and Atalanta to make this round and have beaten Dortmund, Hoffenheim, and Leverkusen in the Bundesliga recently, as well as Union Berlin in the DFB Pokal semifinals. There are a few injury concerns, but under the leadership of the unstoppable Nkunku, RB Leipzig should fancy their odds.

However, Rangers have been the surprise package this season. Everyone began taking notice of the Scottish giants when they eliminated Dortmund from the tournament, beating the German giants 6-4 on aggregate in the playoffs. After that, they overcame Red Star Belgrade 4-2 before pulling off a 3-2 comeback triumph over Sporting Braga in the quarterfinals. In fact, the 1-0 loss in the first leg of their clash with the Portuguese side is the Gers' only defeat in their last five outings, winning the other four. From their last 12 games, Giovanni van Bronckhorst's men have won all but three and will attempt to maintain that run when they visit RB Leipzig. Do not miss this showdown.

Who's in and who's out

Here are the list of players ruled out for the UEFA Europa League 1st leg semifinals:

West Ham: Kurt Zouma, Angelo Ogbonna, and Issa Diop (all injured) 

Eintracht Frankfurt: Evan Ndicka and Kristijan Jakic (suspended); Diant Ramaj (injured); Christopher Lenz (doubtful)

RB Leipzig: Kevin Kampl, Willi Orban and Mohamed Simakan (suspended); Amadou Haidara (injured); Lukas Klostermann (doubtful)

Rangers: Kemar Roofe, Alfredo Morelos, Filip Helander, Ianis Hagi, and Nnamdi Ofoborh (injured); Aaron Ramsey (doubtful)

Broadcast listings: where to watch the UEFA Europa League semifinals live


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