Manuel Veth –
Frankfurt vs Vitória – Thursday, December 12, 17:55GMT/18:55CEST – Commerzbank-Arena, Frankfurt, Germany
A 2-1 win over Arsenal has gotten Frankfurt back into Europa League contention. That victory means that Frankfurt will qualify with a win, or if Standard do not beat Arsenal in Liege. Should they lose and Standard win, the German club will be eliminated. Things will be a bit more interesting should Eintracht draw Vitória and the Belgian side join them and Arsenal on ten points.
In that case, the top three positions will be determined by goal difference in the direct confrontations between the three teams, then goals scored, then away goals scored. Frankfurt’s goal difference in the four games against Arsenal and Standard is already set at -2 (5-7), with Arsenal’s currently +6 (8-2) and Standard’s -4 (3-7).
For Frankfurt the calculation is easy. Beat Vitória and qualify for the round of 32. The Eagles certainly have the quality to collect all three points on Thursday. But at the same time, Frankfurt have struggled to win games lately. Their 2-2 draw against Hertha was already their fourth Bundesliga game in a row in which the Eagles failed to win.
If one includes the defeat to Standard Liege, Eintracht have won just one out of the last six games since smashing Bayern 5-1 on November 2. Against Hertha, however, there were some signs of improvement for the Eagles. Frankfurt were dominant throughout the 90 minutes but lacked efficiency to put away a Hertha side that put away its goalscoring opportunities.
“It is sensational how we came back from two goals down,” Adi Hütter said after the Hertha game. “It was sensational how the team fought to get back into the game. Overall, we should have won that game.” It was indeed a good performance.
A performance that should be enough to beat Vitória at home on Thursday. The Portuguese side are currently eighth in the Portuguese Primeira Liga and last in Group F.
Frankfurt vs Vitória – Players to look out for:
Martin Hinteregger #13 – Eintracht Frankfurt
Martin Hinteregger has been immense for Frankfurt in recent weeks. The Austrian defender is both an effective defender but at Frankfurt has also grown into an effective attacking force. Against Hertha on Friday, for example, Hinteregger managed to get on the scoresheet but was also a presence in the attack throughout the game. At the moment, Hinteregger might be one of the best defenders in German football.
Davidson #91 – Vitória SC
The Brazilian winger is Vitória’s top scorer this season. Two goals and one assist in the first seven games in Portugal, show Vitória’s measured approach in the league. Indeed the 28-year-old Brazilian seems to be at his best in Europe as two goals and five assists in six Europa League games (including qualification) attest.
Frankfurt vs Vitória – Match Stats
- Eintracht Frankfurt’s 1-0 victory on matchday 2 was their first encounter with Vitória SC.
- Vitória were without a win in 13 UEFA away matches (D3 L10) – a run stretching back to a 1-0 victory at Wisła Kraków in September 2005 – before they defeated Jeunesse 1-0 in this season’s second qualifying round.
- hey have yet to win away in ten UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League group games (D2 L8), succumbing to defeats in each of the last five.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Frankfurt vs Vitória – 2-0
Frankfurt vs Vitória – Lineups
Rönnow – Hinteregger, Hasebe, Touré – Kostić, Rode, da Costa – Kamada, Sow – Silva, Paciência
Head Coach: Adi Hütter
Miguel Silva – Rafa Soares, Venãncio, Edmond Tapsoba, Garcia – Teixeira, Agu, Pêpê – John, Bonatini, Davidson
Head Coach: Ivo Vieira
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others, contributes to Forbes.com and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently splits his time between Victoria, BC, and Munich, Germany. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.