The Europa league is back on Thursday night, with German side Eintracht Frankfurt taking on Inter Milan in the first leg of the Commerzbank Arena. Frankfurt progressed to this round after eliminating Shaktar in a clinical victory at this same ground, which should provide sufficient warning to the Italian side. Will their inability to beat Shaktar in the first leg motivate them to get a good result early in this tie? On the other hand, Inter Milan barely made it past lowly Rapid Wien, winning with a slim 1-0 margin. In the end, it was a comfortable 5-0 aggregate victory for Thursday night’s visitors. Will they need to hang on by the skin of their teeth and try to win it in the return leg?
Frankfurt have been in devastating form in both league and cup competitions. They lie in 5th place in the Bundesliga, with 40 points from 24 games and 2 behind RB Leipzig in third. They also progressed from a tough group , battling it out with Lazio and beaten finalists Marseille. Frankfurt have won all their games in the Europa league at home this season, scoring an impressive 14 goals in four games. They are averaging 2.4 expected goals per game as well, which shows the attacking intensity of this side. They have managed to retain some solidity at the back, minimizing their conceded average to 0.91 goals per game.
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Inter Milan TIP Both team to score
Inter Milan lie 4th in the league, with 47 points from 26 games. They have not been as forward driven as the hosts, registering 1.48 expected goals in their single goal victory over Rapid. Inter started the season in the Champions League, but could only finish third due to their patchy away form which saw them record only one win in three. They could only beat PSV, losing to both Tottenham and Barcelona. Inter were limited to an average of 0.67 goals while conceding 1.33 goals in these three away games. If they fail to turn up in another big away game, they might be left chasing champions league qualification through the league.
Spalleti’s claim that Mauro Icardi is facing some time out should boost the host’s hopes of securing victory on Thursday night. Key men Luka Jovic and Sebastien Haller are on a purple path and have scored 11 goals between them in the competition. Of Icard’s possible replacements is Lautaro Martinez, who will be looking to extend his scoring exploits after grabbing one in the win over Wien. It has the makings of a nervy affair with a promise of goalmouth activity.