17th of April 2019 Author: Johnny Karp
Eintracht Frankfurt will be looking to produce an epic fightback when they host Benfica at Commerzbank-Arena on Thursday in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League quarter-finals tie. The Portuguese side pulled off a spectacular 4-2 victory in the first leg last week, with a hat-trick scored by 19-year-old Joao Felix. That was the first ever meeting between these two sides in an European competition. Eintracht Frankfurt have played just three matches against Portuguese teams in Europe and didn't manage to win any of them, while Benfica have won 14 of their 47 games against German teams.
Eintracht Frankfurt still have a good chance to qualify thanks to the two away goals they scored in the first leg, now they need a 2-0 victory to pull through. Last weekend they lost 3-1 at home against Augsburg in the Bundesliga, and that was their first league defeat since December 22, when they lost to champions Bayern Munich. They remain fourth in the league table, but now they are just one point ahead of fifth-placed Borussia Monchengladbach. Eintracht Frankfurt have not reached the last four of an European competition since 1980, when they went on to win the UEFA Cup. Evan Ndicka was sent off in the first leg and is suspended now, while Taleb Tawatha, Marc Stendera, Marco Russ and Timothy Chandler are out injured.
Benfica should be quite confident after their first-leg performance, even though the two goals that they conceded could make things quite complicated in Germany. Last weekend they grabbed another 4-2 victory, they defeated Setubal in the Portuguese league and remain tied with FC Porto at the top of the table. Benfica have scored four goals in each of their last three matches, but they have also conceded in each of their last four games in all competitions. The last time Benfica reached the semi-finals of an European competition was in 2014, when they defeated Juventus in the Europa League. Gabriel Pires, Tyronne Ebuehi and German Conti are injured for the visitors.
Frankfurt: Trapp - Abraham, Hinteregger, Hasebe - Costa, Guzman, Rode, Fernandes, Kostic - Jovic, Haller
Benfica: Vlachodimos - Almeida, Dias, Jardel, Grimaldo - Pizzi, Fejsa, Luis, Rafa - Felix, Seferovic
My prediction: 1-1 draw, Benfica will most likely score and hold on to their first-leg advantage.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Frankfurt win - 1.83
Draw - 4.00
Benfica win - 4.33
17th of April 2019
14th of March 2019
Eintracht have been battling hard on two fronts this season and we should admit they've been doing pretty well so far.
Yeah it's a two goal deficit for the German side and it won't be easy for them to overcome that but I think it's not impossible if they repeat some of the performances from earlier this season and if that happens there would be a lot of tough moments for the Portuguese side in this one.
Whatever the ambitions of Eintracht in this tournament might be I still think top 4 spot in Bundesliga is their main priority this season.
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