Eintracht Frankfurt entertain Real Betis in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie defending a 2-1 lead after the first game in Spain.
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Eintracht Frankfurt entertain Real Betis in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie defending a 2-1 lead.
• Frankfurt came unbeaten through UEFA Europa League D during the autumn, topping the section with 12 points ahead of Olympiacos, Fenerbahçe and Antwerp to qualify directly for the round of 16.
• Betis finished runners-up to another German side, Bayer Leverkusen, in UEFA Europa League Group G with a game to spare. They then overcame Russian champions Zenit in the knockout round play-offs, a 3-2 win in St Petersburg preceding a goalless draw in Seville.
• The clubs met for the first time in UEFA competition on 9 March in Seville, and it was the German visitors who came out on top, a cross-shot from Filip Kostić and a tenth UEFA Europa League goal from Daichi Kamada sandwiching a fine individual strike from Betis midfielder Nabil Fekir. Those goals all came in the first half, Frankfurt missing the chance to increase their advantage after the interval when Rafael Borré's 52nd-minute penalty was saved by Claudio Bravo.
• Frankfurt's first encounter with Spanish opposition was their historic 7-3 defeat by Real Madrid in the 1960 European Cup final in Glasgow. However, they are unbeaten against Spanish opposition since then (W5 D1), winning both home games 1-0, the most recent against Deportivo La Coruña in the third round first leg of the 1993/94 UEFA Cup (2-0 agg). Eintracht's two-legged knockout record against Spanish clubs is W2 L0.
• Betis's unbeaten European record against German opposition (W3 D2), which includes aggregate successes in both of their two previous knockout ties, ended abruptly on Matchday 4 of this season's UEFA Europa League when Manuel Pellegrini's side lost 4-0 at Leverkusen – the club's joint heaviest defeat in UEFA competition. They have now gone three games this season against Bundesliga sides without a win (D1 L2).
• Having been absent from Europe in 2020/21, Eintracht returned for a third UEFA Europa League group stage campaign in four seasons – and fourth in all – thanks to their fifth-placed finish in the Bundesliga. Last summer they replaced coach Adi Hütter with another Austrian, Oliver Glasner, who was in charge of fourth-placed Wolfsburg last term.
• Eintracht have now qualified for the UEFA Europa League knockout phase on all of their four group stage appearances, notably reaching the semi-finals in 2018/19, when they were denied a place in the final only by a penalty shoot-out defeat against eventual winners Chelsea. They won all six of their group games that season – the only German club ever to achieve the feat – but managed just three this term, two against Olympiacos (3-1 h, 2-1 a) and one against Antwerp (1-0 a), in addition to three draws – 2-2 at home to Antwerp and 1-1 in both games against Fenerbahçe.
• The 1979/80 UEFA Cup winners are participating in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 for the third time. They edged past Inter at this stage in 2018/19 (0-0 h, 1-0 a) but were eliminated by Basel in 2019/20 (0-3 h, 0-1 a).
• The German club's home record in the UEFA Europa League, including qualifying, is now W15 D5 L3, the defeats having all come in 2019/20. Frankfurt were unbeaten at home in the competition's knockout phase (W3 D3) until that defeat two years ago by Basel.
• Eintracht have won all eight previous UEFA ties in which they recorded an away victory in the first leg. Two of those came after a 2-1 win, the first time against another Spanish side, Atlético de Madrid, in the second round of the 1975/76 European Cup Winners' Cup (1-0 h), the second in the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League second qualifying round against Flora Tallinn (2-1 h).
• Betis ended the 2020/21 Spanish Liga campaign under new boss Pellegrini in sixth place to end a two-season absence from Europe and qualify for a third crack at the UEFA Europa League.
• The Seville club maintained their perfect record in the UEFA Europa League group stage by making it three qualifications out of three this term, though they were beaten to first place by Leverkusen. Betis took six points off Ferencváros (3-1 a, 2-0 h) and shared 12 goals with Celtic, winning 4-3 at home and losing 3-2 in Glasgow, though that second encounter, on Matchday 6, was academic as the final positions in the section had already been settled.
• Betis have reached the UEFA Europa League round of 16 once before, in 2013/14, but then went out on penalties to city rivals Sevilla after both clubs had won 2-0 away. Their only other knockout phase campaign, in 2018/19, lasted just two matches as they were defeated by Rennes in the round of 32 (3-3 a, 1-3 h).
• Betis have won only two of their last eight European away fixtures (D4 L2), but they remain unbeaten on their travels in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase (W3 D1), scoring ten goals in those four matches.
• Only once previously have Betis lost the first leg of a UEFA tie at home, also 1-2, against Chelsea in the quarter-final of the 1997/98 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. They were eliminated after a 3-1 defeat in the return.
UEFA Europa League squad changes
In: Ragnar Ache, Ansgar Knauff (Borussia Dortmund, loan), Jens Grahl
Out: Erik Durm, Stefan Ilsanker, Giorgos Pontikou, Diant Ramaj
In: Joel Robles, Youssouf Sabaly
Out: Paul Akouokou, Martín Montoya, Rober González (Las Palmas, loan)
Links and trivia
• Two members of Betis's squad have played in the Bundesliga – Andrés Guardado (Leverkusen 2014, loan) and Marc Bartra (Borussia Dortmund 2016–18).
• Eintracht's Colombian forward Rafael Borré spent 2016/17 on loan at Villarreal from fellow Liga club Atlético, for whom he never made a first-team appearance.
• Gonçalo Paciência (Frankfurt) and William Carvalho (Betis) are fellow Portuguese internationals.
• Frankfurt are one of five clubs involved in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 that have previously lifted the trophy, in their case in its former guise as the UEFA Cup (1980).
• This is the only round of 16 tie between teams that both started their 2021/22 European campaign in the UEFA Europa League.
• Eintracht's record in two UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W0 L2:
4-5 v Salzburg, 1993/94 UEFA Cup quarter-final
3-4 v Chelsea, 2018/19 UEFA Europa League semi-final
• Betis's record in two UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W0 L2:
3-5 v Universitatea Craiova, 1984/85 UEFA Cup first round
3-4 v Sevilla, 2013/14 UEFA Europa League round of 16