THE sprawling, leafy campus on the outskirts of Frankfurt which is the home to Deutsche Bank Park leaves the visitor in no doubt about just how well placed Eintracht are to meet the demands of the modern professional game.  

The futuristic 51,500 capacity stadium, which was rebuilt at a cost of over £100m in preparation for the World Cup finals in Germany in 2006, is served by its own S-Bahn station and surrounded by a training ground, gym complex, swimming pool and tennis centre as well as numerous apartment blocks and office buildings.

Eintracht may not be as renowned or as successful as their Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund or even Bayer Leverkusen and might, just like Rangers, be somewhat unexpected Europa League finalists.

But it is obvious there are good reasons The Eagles have soared to such heights in Europe this term. 

Manager Oliver Glasner clearly, despite the state-of-the-art facilities and enviable resources which he has at his disposal, feels that superstition can still play a part in sporting success.

Glasner - who is bidding to become the first Austrian manager to lift a continental trophy since Ernst Happel led Hamburg to the old European Cup in 1983 and only the second ever to do so after his revered compatriot – has much to concern him ahead of Seville next week.

Who does he bring in to replace the talismanic Martin Hinteregger in the heart of his defence in the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium next Wednesday night? Will the influential Jesper Lindstrom be fit and available for selection? How does he triumph where Bundesliga behemoths Dortmund and RB Leipzig failed?    

But getting his lucky blue trousers back from the dry cleaners before boarding the flight to Spain is what is really preying on his mind.

The 47-year-old wore the same pair on the touchline during the wins over Real Betis, Barcelona and West Ham in the previous rounds and is not, after enjoying such impressive results over such formidable Spanish and English opponents, about to risk changing them for the encounter with Rangers.

“I don't even know what colour the team played in during those matches,” he said. “Seriously, though, all I know is that my lucky blue pants have to be cleaned. I'm supposed to pick them up tomorrow. Hopefully there are no hitches.”

Glasner also confirmed that Eintracht will play in their white away strip, not their traditional black jersey, against Rangers in the hope it will bring them good luck. It was what they wore in their famous DFB-Pokal win over Bayern back in 2018 and in their Europa League victories on the road in the 2021/22 campaign. 

The former Wolfsburg coach was in buoyant mood as he spoke at the UEFA Europa League final media day yesterday. Keeping his charges in a relaxed frame of mind ahead of what is the biggest game of their careers is very much his focus. He has total faith in both their abilities and mentalities.  

“Right now, it’s like preparing for passing your A-levels,” he said. “There is no sense in learning all day in the very last remaining days before the tests. It is important to relax and not to get too tense. You are either prepared or you’re not prepared.

“We should stick to our plans and strengths. We mustn't cramp up. The players have had two days off so they can be in a good state of mind. They have recovered well.

“Now, though, we start the countdown to the final. We won't rotate against Mainz (Eintracht play their local rivals away in their final Bundesliga game tomorrow) because our players have to be in the rhythm.

“We want to use the Mainz game as a dress rehearsal. I haven’t called Bo (Mainz manager Svensson) and said:  ‘Can you please impersonate the Rangers?’. But the focus is on Seville. We're all really looking forward to this final.”

Kevin Trapp, the former Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper who has been in the best form of his life this season and is even being tipped by some in his homeland to displace Manuel Neuer in the German national team, is not in the slightest bit apprehensive.

Asked what his emotions were ahead of the Rangers game, he said: “Pure joy. We still have one game to go before the big dream, the final. But everyone wishes me luck, writes to me. It is something very special that we have achieved this year. It's almost too far away. We would like to play tomorrow.”

Glasner’s laidback and playful demeanour is obviously having the desired impact. Still, the manager’s upbeat mood does not mean that he is taking the threat which Rangers pose Eintracht lightly. He has studied Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s team extensively and has been suitably impressed with what he has seen. He thinks the final could go either way. 

“They have eliminated two Bundesliga clubs, Dorftmund and Leipzig,” he said. “And their wins were fully deserved. In fact, I haven't seen Leipzig in such big trouble as they were in the first-half of the second leg game against Rangers in Glasgow.

“They are incredibly strong in one-on-one combat, they break up front rapidly and bring the ball quickly into the penalty area. They are very flexible with their formation, switch from three chain to five chain or also use the four chain in the build-up. They have a very structured approach to the game. It's going to be a 50-50 game. Both teams deserve to be in the final.”

Glasner, who has previously had spells in charge of SV Ried and LASK in his homeland as well as Wolfsburg, is in, like his opposite number Van Bronckhorst, his debut season in his current role. He has an unexpected chance to make a little bit of history. He is, though, unconcerned by what another win next midweek will mean for him personally. 

“I get too much about Happel from my homeland,” he said. “A lot of journalists get in touch and tell me that. It's nice to have, but it doesn't really change my life. It’s a tribute to what the team has achieved. I haven't played a second.”