Eintracht hopes for magical fubball evening against benfica

Eintracht hopes for magical fubball evening against benfica

It should be a magical fubball evening. 39 years after their UEFA cup triumph, DFB cup winners eintracht frankfurt are aiming to reach the semifinals of a european competition for the first time again and to build on their so far successful performance in the european league.

"We have always dreamed of such an aubergewohnliche game. We’re going to give benfica a hell of a time," said eintracht chairman axel hellmann ahead of the quarterfinal clash against the portuguese record champions from lisbon.

The whole town is looking forward to this thursday’s game (21 th).00 o’clock/RTL and DAZN), 48.000 spectators want to roar their team to victory in the sold-out arena. "In such a game you need rough emotions. We will certainly be carried by our fans," said coach adi hutter on wednesday. And defensive player gelson fernandes added: "this stadium inspires all of europe. We want to take the power and positive energy from the stands with us."

This will also be necessary, because after the 2:4 in the first leg, the hessians are in the chasing role. But that only spurred the ambition of the last german participant even more. "Of course it makes us proud to be the only german team still represented in europe. Everyone is looking to frankfurt now," said national goalkeeper kevin trapp. "We have the quality to still make it. That is our goal."

A 2:0 or 3:1 score is required at the very least – or even a 4:2 score if necessary, which would mean a lengthening and possibly a penalty shootout. Doubts that this will succeed against the table-toppers from portugal around century talent felix joao, let the frankfurters in the run-up not arise. "The fighting spirit is awakened. We want to turn this around with the fans in our backs. We are always in a position to push two goals", tonte sebastian rode.

Frankfurt’s hopes are additionally fueled by an important appointment. Defender martin hinteregger, who suffered a thigh ligament hemorrhage in the bundesliga match against FC augsburg last sunday, reported fit on wednesday before the final training session. Whether the 25-year-old austrian will play from the start is to be decided only a few hours before kickoff. "I won’t take too many risks with a view to the end of the season," said hutter.

Regardless of the personnel, he said: "we need a perfect game."Because benfica has its strong points in the fast switching game – and in joao felix, who is only 19 years old, an "absolute key player who can do everything," according to hutter. It will be a matter of neutralizing the three-goal scorer from the first leg. "He is the head of this team and can make the difference," warned eintracht coach.

He expects his team to "go into the game with joy and enthusiasm and show passion". Finally the dream of the final in baku shall not end yet. The hessians have only reached the semifinals of a european competition three times – most recently in 1980 in the UEFA cup on the way to their only triumph so far. Eintracht had previously achieved this feat in 1975/76 in the now abolished european cup winners’ cup and in 1959/60 in the then national champions’ cup.

Even portuguese goncalo pacienca, who kept eintracht’s hopes of advancing alive with his goal to make it 2:4 in the first leg, was aware of the historic significance of the game for the 120-year-old club: "if we actually pull this off, frankfurt will be upside down," said the forward, promising: "we will prove that we have character and passion."

Anticipated lineups:

Eintracht frankfurt: trapp – abraham, hasebe, hinteregger – G. Fernandes, rode – da costa, kostic – rebic – paciencia, jovic

Benfica lisbon: vlachodimos – corchia, R. Dias, jardel, grimaldo – fejsa, samaris – rafa silva, fernandes, cervi – joao felix

Referee: daniele orsato (italy)

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