Eintracht Frankfurt and Standard Liège are level on three points as they meet in a potentially pivotal Group F encounter.
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Semi-finalists in 2018/19, Eintracht Frankfurt got their UEFA Europa League campaign back on track with a Matchday 2 victory in Portugal and will be eager to add another as they host a Standard Liège side who also go into this pivotal Group F encounter on three points.
• Eintracht's undefeated home record in the UEFA Europa League was abruptly ended as Arsenal beat them 3-0 on Matchday 1, but the Bundesliga side recovered to win 1-0 at Vitória SC on the same night that Standard, who had opened with a 2-0 home win against the team from Guimaraes, were beaten 4-0 by the Gunners in north London.
• Eintracht have failed to score in their four matches against Belgian opposition, losing both ties 1-0 – against holders Mechelen in the 1988/89 European Cup Winners' Cup quarter-final and Gent in the second round of the 1991/92 UEFA Cup.
• This is Standard's 30th UEFA match against German opponents (W7 D8 L14). They have won just three of their 16 previous games in Germany (D4 L9) and are without a victory in their last eight visits, the most recent of them having brought their heaviest defeat on German soil when they lost 4-0 to Hannover in the second leg of the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League round of 16. Two years previously they had also been eliminated from the UEFA Europa League knockout phase by a German club, going out in the quarter-final to Hamburg (1-2 a, 1-3 h).
• Frankfurt's 14-match UEFA Europa League adventure in 2018/19 brought memorable knockout phase wins over three teams that had crossed over in mid-season from the UEFA Champions League – Shakhtar Donetsk, Internazionale and Benfica – before they were beaten on penalties in the semi-final by eventual winners Chelsea. It was accompanied by a seventh-placed finish in the Bundesliga.
• The 1980 UEFA Cup winners embarked on this UEFA Europa League campaign in the second qualifying round. They comfortably saw off Estonia's Flora and Liechtenstein's Vaduz before having to come from behind to eliminate Strasbourg (0-1 a, 3-0 h) in the play-offs and reach the group stage for the third time. Their first appearance, in 2013/14, also resulted in further progress before they were eliminated by Porto on away goals in the round of 32 (2-2 a, 3-3 h).
• Eintracht's overall record in the UEFA Europa League, home and away and including qualifying, is an eye-catching W22 D6 L5. Their home record in the competition is an equally impressive W12 D3 L1, with no defeats until Arsenal visited on Matchday 1. That 3-0 loss ended the German club's perfect record of six home wins out of six in the group stage.
• Standard's third place in the 2018/19 Belgian league earned them direct qualification for this season's group stage.
• The Liege club have competed in the UEFA Europa League group stage in five previous campaigns, but have only once made further progress, at the first attempt in 2011/12, when they went through to the round of 16. They were also quarter-finalists in the inaugural 2009/10 season after switching over mid-campaign from the UEFA Champions League. Last season they failed to get into the knockout phase despite picking up ten points in a group that contained Sevilla, Krasnodar and Akhisar.
• Standard have lost more than half of their away fixtures in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final (W4 D6 L11), winning only one of the last 15 (D4 L10) – 3-0 at Panathinaikos in the 2016/17 group stage.
Links and trivia
• Standard coach Michel Preud'homme was in goal for Mechelen against Eintracht in the 1988/89 European Cup Winners' Cup quarter-final, keeping two clean sheets and producing a dazzling display in the goalless first leg in Frankfurt.
• Austrian coach Adi Hütter was appointed by Eintracht Frankfurt as the successor to Bayern München-bound Niko Kovač in May 2018, having just led Young Boys to their first Swiss league title in 32 years. He proved a shrewd acquisition, leading Frankfurt into the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League and back into Europe via the Bundesliga. A midfielder who spent seven years with Salzburg, he returned to lead the club to a domestic double in 2014/15 after managerial spells at Altach and Grödig. He then crossed the border to spend the next three seasons in Berne.
• A former goalkeeper who played 58 times for the Belgian national team, Preud'homme started out with Standard, winning two league titles with the club, before making further waves with Mechelen, notably in their European Cup Winners' Cup triumph of 1987/88. He has enjoyed similar success as a coach, winning trophies with every club he has managed, most recently the 2015/16 Belgian league with Club Brugge. This is his third spell in charge at Standard, his return in May 2018 coming after ten years away.
The FootballPeople weeks take place from 10 to 24 October 2019 and are organised by UEFA's social responsibility partner Fare. The weeks are a global campaign aimed at tackling discrimination and celebrating diversity in football. The UEFA Europa League is offering its full support to the FootballPeople weeks; teams will line up for a mixed photo with the referees, while an #EqualGame hashtag will also be on display. Videos will be played on giant screens at stadiums across Europe, and child mascots will be wearing #FootballPeople t-shirts. UEFA's collaboration with the Fare network's FootballPeople weeks has been running since 2001. The aim of this initiative fits in perfectly with the goals of #EqualGame, which is looking to promote inclusion, diversity and accessibility.