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UEFA Cup winners in 1979/80 (and European Cup runners-up in 1959/60), Frankfurt are coming up against Barcelona for the first time but will take solace from having eliminated their Liga rivals Real Betis in the round of 16. Barcelona have been enjoying a good spell under Xavi Hernández, though they have won just one of their last six games in Germany (W1 D2 L3).
Possible starting line-ups
Frankfurt: Trapp; N’Dicka, Hinteregger, Tuta; Jakić, Sow, Knauff, Lindstrøm, Kamada, Kostić; Borré
Misses next game if booked: none
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Araujo, Piqué, Eric García, Jordi Alba; De Jong, Busquets, Pedri; Dembélé, Aubameyang, Ferran Torres
Misses next game if booked: Busquets, Eric García, Gavi, Jordi Alba, Piqué
Form guide (all competitions, most recent first): DDDWW
Where they stand: 9th in Bundesliga
Form guide (all competitions, most recent first): WWWWD
Where they stand: 2nd in Liga
Steffen Potter, Frankfurt reporter
This is arguably Eintracht’s biggest match since their 2019 semi-final against eventual winners Chelsea, and the fact that they are back in a match of such magnitude within a few years shows how comfortable they are in this competition. The return of their fans (the entire stadium can be used again) will certainly give them another boost and you can expect an absolutely electric atmosphere.
Graham Hunter, Barcelona reporter
Barça are in the middle of one of the most startling mid-season transitions in recent football history. Bedraggled and easily eliminated in the UEFA Champions League group stage, they aren’t simply the emerging favourites for this tournament. They have rediscovered their footballing identity, create a plethora of chances in every match and are back among Europe’s most attractive side to watch. Will this be sufficient to end their recent losing habit against Bundesliga sides? Watch and discover.
What the coaches say
Oliver Glasner, Frankfurt coach: “It will be a wonderful Europa League match against a top opponent. We’re having an excellent season in the competition, are unbeaten and hope that the journey continues to the semi-finals. In European terms, it’s the biggest game of my career. We don’t want to be defending inside the last 30 meters for 90 minutes. We want to show our strengths. We have to be sensible, but we’ve also shown that we can create chances.”
Xavi Hernández, Barcelona coach: “We’ve never played here, but nothing changes for us. Playing first at home or away doesn’t matter, Eintracht is a great team, strong, great transition. It’s going to be a difficult game and we were unlucky in the draw. They have very good players up front, double pivots, central defenders, a good goalkeeper. Maybe they’re not as well known in Spain but they’re top-level footballers.”
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