FC Girondins de Bordeaux know nothing less than victory against UEFA Europa League Group F leaders Eintracht Frankfurt will keep their qualification hopes alive, but the French club's cause will not be helped by the estimated 12,000 away supporters expected at the Stade Chaban-Delmas.
The strength of the visitors' following, thought to be the biggest for a match in the UEFA Europa League, has captivated the minds of both coaches, with Eintracht's Armin Veh vowing his side will "play for them and for all those that stayed at home" and "share" a win that would secure their spot in the round of 32 at the second time of asking.
For Bordeaux, bottom of the section, the presence of so many of the Bundesliga team's fans is a "disadvantage" for a fixture that will determine whether their matchday six trip to second-placed Maccabi Tel Aviv-FC is to be nothing more than a dead rubber.
"If they want to come in that number we will not stop them," said Girondins coach Francis Gillot, who is without the suspended Landry N'Guémo. "However, they will not be on the pitch – it is not them we will play against.
"It will take two victories [for us to progress]. If we don't get the first one we're out. They will be two very, very difficult matches, but it is what we have to contend with if we are to qualify. If we don't win those games it means we don't deserve to go further."
While the game serves as a last chance for the Ligue 1 outfit to haul themselves back into contention, it represents a second bite of the cherry for Veh's men to seal a knockout berth – Eintracht having conceded three times during the first 35 minutes in a 4-2 reverse in Israel three weeks ago.
"Against Maccabi Tel-Aviv we went missing for one half, but we have had two totally different games since then and I can assure you that tomorrow we'll play for 90 minutes," he said.
That was the third of a four-match losing streak Eintracht halted at the weekend when they rallied from two down to draw 3-3 at home with UEFA Champions League contenders FC Schalke 04. Only Benedikt Höwedes's 86th-minute intervention denied the Eagles their first domestic success since 25 September.
"It is always important to have good results," added Veh. "In the games against Schalke and Mainz [a 1-0 defeat in their previous outing] I did not see a bad team. We feel better and better. That's important on a psychological level – our performance against Schalke boosted us."
Well-placed in Europe, Eintracht are fourth from bottom in the German top flight. It is a paradox which Gillot, from the outside looking in, cannot fathom. "It is surprising to see where they are," he explained. "When you see them struggling in their league, it means they have a very strong championship. With performances like the one against Schalke they will move up the table."
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