dThat was it again. Hugo Ekitiké in the starting eleven against Werder Bremen? No. The 20 million euro man is not an option for Eintracht's home game this Friday (8:30 p.m.). FAZ live ticker for the Bundesliga and on DAZN). “Slight problems in the adductors,” according to his coach, make it impossible for the Frenchman to carry out his stormy work.

The record transfer from Frankfurt must once again be patient, cure a malaise and continue training diligently to reach first-class standards. If this will happen next week Stuttgart Eintracht coach Toppmöller could not say exactly whether this would be the case or not until mid-April, when football would also be played under the lights on Friday afternoon, and then against FC Augsburg.

“Maybe it will take a little longer,” Toppmöller said at the professional training camp on Thursday, when it came time to verbally prepare for the home game against Werder Bremen. According to the Frankfurt football teacher, Ekitiké feels pain that can appear in the adductors during extreme stress. “Our doctors talk about a return adapted to pain.”

Frankfurt energy crisis

So attacker Hugo is out. And Hugo, who distributes the ball, is not yet ready to start from the kickoff. After all: Hugo Larsson, who recently did not play at zero due to a sore thigh Union Berlin could have been there, currently he has been able to have the ball again at least for the half. On the contrary, this means that Ellyes Skhiri, who has been weak recently, is one of the eleven players selected for the starting eleven as one of those who clarify and build in front of the defense.

While preparing for the match against Werder, “which we obviously want to win”, Eintracht coach Toppmöller calmly watched the previous home match against Union again. After studying the video, he was clear: “We have to be very active when playing against the ball. “Werder has good offensive processes and good game dynamics.”

Dynamics, speed, heart and passion: week after week these are the same things that can make a difference and are part of the self-image of a professional footballer. After the 0-0 draw against Union Berlin, there was a lot of energy in the Frankfurt ranks. It was true: it was a kind of energy crisis that had affected Eintracht, not just the Iron Men of the capital.

The Toppmöller team was unable to fulfill its potential from start to finish. The 43-year-old coach said on Thursday: “There is always energy in the group. It depends on what happens on the pitch.” That's why Toppmöller's slogan for the match against Werder is: “We want to stress Bremen from the beginning with good energy and put pressure on them from the first minute.”

Background noise around ultras

The Frankfurt football teacher is optimistic that this will be possible under the floodlights and in a sold-out stadium. When studying the television images of the match against Unión, he observed that “the first half was not that bad. And in the second half we had a completely different force on the field.” He also liked the presentation of the players in the previous training week, which like many others took place behind closed doors.

“If one fails, another takes the place. In the eleven-on-eleven training match there were hardly any differences between the supposed starting eleven and the substitute eleven. Specifically, the Eintracht coach reported that he had made changes to some (regular) positions for practice reasons, “because the boys should not be too sure of themselves.” Toppmöller described this particular strategy as “mental acuity.”

Toppmöller regularly finds out what is written on social networks and in newspapers. That's why, of course, he also realized that this Friday he could be a little calmer at the Frankfurt Arena.

Due to the threat of banning access to Eintracht fans after the European Cup events in Naples and in the daily Bundesliga matches against Stuttgart, it is heard in ultra circles that support against Bream could be lower than usual.

“Then we'll just have to make payments up front,” Toppmöller said, “and make sure the spark flies. “We have to have the viewers on our side.” According to the Eintracht coach, this could be achieved better against Werder than against many other Bundesliga teams. “Matches against Bremen always have a high entertainment value. There are always a lot of goals scored.” Toppmöller's hope: “It can be a spectacle.”