Eintracht looking to join Euro elite

@LovellLowdown looks at five factors favouring Frankfurt in a mouth-watering clash with Portuguese giants FC Porto for a place in the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League. Kick-off is at (kick-off 18:00 GMT/ 19:00 CET).

  1. The Eagles will be roared on by one of the most passionate and loudest sets of fans in Germany. There is always a special atmosphere for evening games at the Commerzbank Arena.
  2. This is the biggest game in the club’s recent history. Arguably, there hasn’t been this sort of buzz around Germany’s financial capital since the days of Ghanaian striking legend Tony Yeboah and Nigerian Jay-Jay Okocha way back in the naughty nineties.
  3. Eintracht have an unblemished home record in the competition with four wins out of four and only a sizzling Salzburg side (18) have scored more goals than the Eagles (15) up to this stage in the competition.
  4. Porto possesses a proud recent European history and with stars such as Jackson and Ricardo Quaresma in their ranks, would still be most people’s favourites to progress. However, this is a struggling Porto side that failed to progress from a Champions League group containing St. Petersburg. The 28-time Portuguese champions have now failed to win in six European outings, since an opening matchday success in the Champions League way back in September. Porto are in some disarray and travel to Germany on the back of an embarrassing league defeat against Estoril. The white handkerchief treatment ensued as Porto plummeted to a first home defeat in EIGHTY ONE games in a run which began in 2008.
  5. This is a nice distraction from a topsy-turvy Bundesliga campaign for relegation-threatened Frankfurt. In my opinion, there is less pressure on Eintracht to succeed in Europe and the home team still goes into the 2nd leg as underdog. The German side can ideally play with more freedom and that all-important momentum would appear to be with Frankfurt after retrieving a two goal deficit in the Estadio do Dragoa.
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Mark Lovell

Mark is an English freelance bilingual writer, living and working in Germany since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Interact via Email or follow me on twitter @LovellLowdown and check out my site at www.lovelllowdown.com

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