Eintracht Frankfurt's impressive campaign has led them to a semi-final showdown against unbeaten Chelsea, the 2013 winners.
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Germany's last representatives in Europe this season, Eintracht Frankfurt, host unbeaten Chelsea as the two clubs meet for the first time with a place in the UEFA Europa League final at stake.
• It has been an impressive campaign for Eintracht, who have lost just once en route to the last four. They topped Group H with maximum points, winning home and away against Lazio, Apollon Limassol and 2017/18 runners-up Marseille, before eliminating Shakhtar Donetsk, Internazionale and Benfica, all three of whom had transferred in mid-season from the UEFA Champions League.
• Chelsea have won 11 of their 12 matches in this UEFA Europa League campaign, drawing the other. They dominated Group L in the autumn before coasting to a 5-1 aggregate victory over Malmö in the round of 32, overwhelming Dynamo Kyiv 8-0 over the two legs in the last 16 and also winning both quarter-final matches against Slavia Praha (1-0 away, 4-3 home).
• Eintracht have never faced Chelsea but have been involved in three previous two-legged UEFA competition ties against English clubs and lost them all. The last of those was in 1982, when Tottenham Hotspur defeated them 3-2 on aggregate in the European Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals.
• Frankfurt have faced English opposition just once since then, a 0-0 draw against Newcastle United in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup group stage preserving the German club's unbeaten home record against visitors from England (W2 D2).
• Chelsea's record in 19 matches against Bundesliga opposition is W10 D5 L4, the first victory coming in the 1997/98 European Cup Winners' Cup final against Stuttgart (1-0).
• The London club's last two visits to Germany brought big wins against Schalke – 3-0 in 2013/14, with Eden Hazard among the scorers, and 5-0 in 2014/15, in which Willian found the net. Chelsea's most memorable triumph on German soil, however, came in the 2012 UEFA Champions League final, when they defeated Bayern München on penalties in their home stadium after a 1-1 draw. Overall their away record in Germany is W3 D2 L4.
• A dramatic 2017/18 German Cup final victory over Bundesliga champions Bayern München – 3-1 in Berlin – gave Eintracht their first major silverware in 30 years and secured their first European campaign in five.
• The 1980 UEFA Cup winners opened their Group H campaign with a 2-1 victory in Marseille and secured qualification by beating Lazio (4-1 home) and Apollon (2-0 home, 3-2 away), maintaining their winning streak against Marseille (4-0 home) and Lazio (2-1 away) to finish nine points clear of the Italian club.
• A 2-2 draw at Shakhtar in the first leg of the round of 32 ended their winning run but a 4-1 victory in the return propelled them for the first time into the UEFA Europa League last 16, where they beat Inter 1-0 on aggregate (0-0 home, 1-0 away). In the quarter-final Frankfurt suffered their first defeat of the campaign, going down 4-2 with ten men at Benfica, but recovered to progress on away goals with a 2-0 home victory.
• Eintracht's only other European participation in the past dozen seasons came in 2013/14, when they reached the UEFA Europa League round of 32 before going out to Porto.
• Eintracht's overall record in the UEFA Europa League, home and away and including qualifying, is W16 D4 L2, the sole defeat prior to the one at Benfica having come away to Maccabi Tel-Aviv (2-4) in November 2013. Their home record in the competition is W9 D2, only Porto and Inter denying them victory.
• In the UEFA Europa League group stage for the first time this season, Chelsea eased through to the knockout phase, doing the double over PAOK (1-0 away, 4-0 home) and BATE Borisov (3-1 home, 1-0 away) before Vidi, who had lost 1-0 at Stamford Bridge, denied them a clean sweep with a 2-2 draw in Budapest on matchday six. In the round of 32 they defeated Malmö away (2-1) and at home (3-0) before sweeping aside Dynamo Kyiv (3-0 home, 5-0 away). They then made it six wins in a row against Slavia Praha in the quarter-finals.
• This is Chelsea's second appearance in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase, their first, in 2012/13, having concluded with victory in the competition overall. En route to that final in Amsterdam, where they beat Benfica 2-1, they registered two wins and two defeats on their travels. They overcame Basel 5-2 on aggregate in the semi-final (2-1 away, 3-1 home).
• Chelsea are now a record-equalling 15 games unbeaten in the UEFA Europa League, including the last three matches of that victorious 2013 campaign, the draw at Vidi the only game in that sequence that they did not win. Their last defeat was a 2-3 loss at Rubin Kazan in the 2012/13 quarter-final, since when their away record in the competition is W6 D1, with 14 goals scored and four conceded.
Links and trivia
• Antonio Rüdiger (Stuttgart, 2012–15) and Andreas Christensen (Borussia Mönchengladbach, 2015–17) have both played in the Bundesliga.
• International team-mates:
Ante Rebić & Mateo Kovačić (Croatia)
Kevin Trapp & Rüdiger (Germany)
Frederik Rønnow & Christensen (Denmark)
• Filip Kostić and substitute Luka Jović were members of the Serbia side that lost 2-0 against a Brazil team featuring Willian during the 2018 FIFA World Cup group stage.
• Rebić scored a stunning volley past Willy Caballero to open the scoring for Croatia in their 3-0 group stage win against Argentina at the 2018 World Cup; Gonzalo Higuaín was a substitute for Argentina.
• Eintracht are the only one of the UEFA Europa League semi-finalists appearing in the last four of the competition for the first time.
• Chelsea are the only one of the four semi-finalists who have won the UEFA Europa League before, though Eintracht, like Valencia, have lifted the trophy in its former guise as the UEFA Cup.
• Chelsea's Olivier Giroud is the leading scorer in this season's UEFA Europa League, with ten goals – two more than Eintracht's Jović.
• Willian has provided seven assists in the competition, putting him level at the top of the charts with Igor Stasevich of eliminated BATE.
• Chelsea were one of seven teams to come through the group stage undefeated and are now the only one to have retained that status. Their run of 15 UEFA Europa League games without defeat has equalled the competition record previously held alone by Atlético Madrid since October 2012.
• Eintracht and Chelsea both drew last weekend – respectively at home to Hertha Berlin (0-0) and away to Manchester United (1-1) – to remain fourth in their domestic leagues and therefore in position to qualify for next season's UEFA Champions League.
• 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. 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.
• Named as the new Chelsea boss in succession to his fellow Italian, Antonio Conte, in July 2018, Maurizio Sarri is widely considered to be one of Europe's most progressive coaches. He paid his dues in Italy's lower leagues with a multitude of clubs before getting his big break at Empoli, whom he steered into Serie A, and then replaced Rafael Benítez at Napoli in 2015. Three seasons in Naples all brought top-three finishes, his entertaining side running Juventus close for the Scudetto in 2017/18.