It has been a protracted highway again to the European elite for Eintracht Frankfurt.
Sixty-one years have handed since Frankfurt misplaced to Actual Madrid 7-3 in an epic European Cup closing in entrance of a crowd of 127,000 in what remains to be thought of one of many best video games within the competitors’s historical past.
Frankfurt has not performed in Europe’s prime membership competitors since and its metropolis is best generally known as the house of the European Central Financial institution. However Frankfurt is now heading in the right direction to qualify for subsequent season’s Champions League.
Frankfurt hosts Wolfsburg on Saturday in a match between the 2 golf equipment which have disrupted the Bundesliga prime 4 this season, squeezing out extra established names like Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen. Saturday’s recreation will probably be a check of power for 2 golf equipment making an attempt to carry on to their European locations at the same time as they dream of extra success.
Wolfsburg goes into the sport in third, eyeing the three-point hole to second-place Leipzig. Frankfurt is fourth with a seven-point cushion over Dortmund in fifth.
Each golf equipment have risen by advantage of being very laborious to beat. They every have three losses from 27 league video games this season, the identical quantity as runaway chief Bayern Munich, however they’ve achieved these information in very other ways.
Frankfurt’s essential man André Silva. The Portugal ahead has been revitalized since leaving AC Milan for Frankfurt, first on mortgage, then on a everlasting deal final yr. He has 22 objectives in 25 Bundesliga video games this season, second solely to Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski. That features the 87th-minute profitable aim which lifted Frankfurt to a 2-1 win over Dortmund final week to tighten its maintain on fourth.
Silva is backed by a supporting solid together with Filip Kostic, who leads the league with 11 assists and arrange each objectives towards Dortmund. Frankfurt coach Adi Hütter has been linked with the vacant job at Borussia Mönchengladbach, although, and it is unclear if he’ll keep for subsequent season.
Wolfsburg’s success is constructed on its strong protection. The crew has conceded 22 objectives all season, tied for greatest within the league with Leipzig, and 15 fewer than Frankfurt. Up entrance, tall goal man Wout Weghorst has 17 league objectives and is the principle attacking risk for a membership bidding to return to the Champions League for the primary time since 2016.
Wolfsburg is best identified for its success within the Girls’s Champions League. The ladies’s crew has reached the ultimate 5 instances and gained the competitors in 2013 and 2014. The boys got here painfully near one of many all-time Champions League shocks in 2016, main Actual Madrid 2-0 after the primary leg of the quarterfinals earlier than Cristiano Ronaldo turned it round with a hat trick for Madrid within the second leg.
Frankfurt’s spectacular report in cup competitions reveals it might succeed within the Champions League. Within the final 5 years, it is gained the German Cup and been runner-up, and reached the Europa League semifinals in 2019 earlier than a tricky loss on penalties to eventual winner Chelsea.