Denied a fourth successive Group F victory on Matchday 4, Arsenal nevertheless need only avoid defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt to progress again.
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Denied a fourth successive Group F victory by a late equaliser on Matchday 4, Arsenal nevertheless need only avoid defeat at home to Eintracht Frankfurt to clinch their place in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase for the third successive season. The German side sit four points behind the Gunners, level with Standard Liège, and can neither qualify nor be eliminated on Matchday 5; Arsenal would also qualify with a defeat if Standard were to lose to Vitória SC in Guimaraes.
• Runners-up last season, Arsenal kicked off their 2019/20 UEFA Europa League campaign in style by winning 3-0 at 2018/19 semi-finalists Frankfurt before claiming maximum points at home against Standard (4-0) and Vitória (3-2), only to be denied another win late on in Guimaraes (1-1). Eintracht responded to that opening reverse by beating Vitória away (1-0) and Standard at home (2-1) but then lost 2-1 in Belgium after conceding a last-gasp goal.
• The clubs had never faced each other in UEFA competition until that Matchday 1 win for Arsenal in Germany, late goals from Bukayo Saka – his first for the club – and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – his 17th in the UEFA Europa League – adding to Joe Willock's first-half strike and inflicting on Eintracht their heaviest European home defeat.
• Arsenal have played 39 UEFA matches against German clubs (W18 D6 L15). They have won 12 of the 19 at home but lost six, five of those defeats having come in the last eight such fixtures, including a 1-5 loss against Bayern München in the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League round of 32 that ranks as their heaviest at home in UEFA competition.
• Eintracht have won only two of their ten matches against English opposition (D4 L4) and have yet to gain a positive result in England, losing the first three of their four matches in the country and drawing the most recent, 1-1 against Chelsea in last season's UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg, before going down 3-4 on penalties to the west London side.
• UEFA Champions League ever-presents for 19 successive seasons from 1998/99 to 2016/17, Arsenal reached the UEFA Europa League semi-finals at the first attempt in 2017/18, losing to eventual winners Atlético Madrid, before going one step further and making it to last season's final, where they were defeated 4-1 by London rivals Chelsea.
• Fifth place in the 2018/19 Premier League secured a third successive UEFA Europa League group stage berth for the Gunners, who had won five European games in a row – one against Rennes, two apiece against Napoli and Valencia – before the defeat in Baku.
• The 1999/2000 UEFA Cup runners-up picked up seven points at home in each of their previous two UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns and are now on a seven-match winning streak in the competition on home turf, five of those victories having featured clean sheets. Their overall UEFA Europa League record in the Arsenal Stadium is W12 D3 L1 and they have won 22 of their 33 matches overall in the competition (D5 L6).
• 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. That European run 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 L5. Their away record in the competition is W10 D3 L4, the defeat in Liege having halted a run of five successive group stage victories on the road.
Links and trivia
• Arsenal's squad contains German internationals Bernd Leno, Shkodran Mustafi and Mesut Özil. Eintracht have two Mannschaft members on their books in goalkeeper Kevin Trapp and defender Erik Durm.
• Arsenal's Granit Xhaka and Eintracht duo Gelson Fernandes and Djibril Sow are all Swiss internationals.
• Six Arsenal players – Leno (Bayer Leverkusen), Xhaka (Mönchengladbach), Özil (Schalke, Werder Bremen), Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Bremen, Dortmund) and Sead Kolašinac (Schalke) – have played in the German Bundesliga.
• Papastathopoulos, Aubameyang and Eintracht's Sebastian Rode are former Dortmund team-mates.
• Aubameyang scored the winning goal from the penalty spot as Dortmund defeated Frankfurt 2-1 in the 2016/17 German Cup final. Papastathopulos was also in the Dortmund side, with David Abraham, Timothy Chandler and Mijat Gaćinović in the Frankfurt starting XI.
• Alexandre Lacazette scored twice past Trapp as France drew 2-2 against Germany in a November 2017 friendly international in Cologne.
• After two years with Paris Saint-Germain that yielded seven domestic trophies, Unai Emery was appointed as Arsenal manager in May 2018, replacing the long-serving Arsène Wenger. The Spaniard oversaw Sevilla's historic hat-trick of successes in the UEFA Europa League from 2013/14 to 2015/16, having assumed control following a four-year tenure at Valencia and a brief stint at Spartak Moskva. A finalist again with the Gunners in 2018/19, he has been in charge of more UEFA Europa League games than any other coach, this being his 79th.
• 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.