Defeated 2-1 in Germany on Matchday 3, Standard Liège will be hoping to get the better of Eintracht Frankfurt back in Belgium.
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Defeated 2-1 in Germany on Matchday 3, Standard Liège will be hoping to get the better of Eintracht Frankfurt back in Belgium and join the 2018/19 semi-finalists on six points in Group F.
• Eintracht, who defeated Vitória SC 1-0 away on Matchday 2, are bidding to make it three wins in a row after their unbeaten home record in the UEFA Europa League was shattered by an opening 0-3 defeat to Arsenal. Standard, meanwhile, began their campaign with a 2-0 home win against the team from Guimaraes before going down 4-0 in London, and are therefore looking to avoid a third successive defeat.
• This is Standard's 31st UEFA match against German opponents (W7 D8 L15). They have also lost more than they have won at home (W4 D4 L5), their only victory in the last five such fixtures having come in the UEFA Europa League group stage of 2011/12, 2-0 against a Hannover side that would later eliminate them in the round of 16 after drawing 2-2 in Belgium and winning 4-0 in Germany.
• Eintracht had failed to score in their first four matches against Belgian opposition, losing both ties 1-0 on aggregate – against holders Mechelen in the 1988/89 European Cup Winners' Cup quarter-final (0-0 h, 0-1 a) and Gent in the second round of the 1991/92 UEFA Cup (0-0 a, 0-1 h) – before defenders David Abraham and Martin Hinteregger found the net against Standard on Matchday 3.
• 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 won only seven of their 16 UEFA Europa League home group stage matches (D5 L4), but they triumphed in all three in Liege last season and are now unbeaten in ten European home fixtures (W6 D4) since losing 0-3 to Feyenoord in December 2014.
• 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 W23 D6 L4. Their away record in the competition is an equally impressive W10 D3 L3, with victories in each of their last four group stage encounters.
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.
• Eintracht defeated Bayern München 5-1 at home on Saturday, prompting the dismissal from the Bundesliga champions of their former coach Niko Kovač.
• 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.
• Austrian coach Adi Hütter was appointed by Eintracht Frankfurt as the successor to Bayern-bound 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.