Runners-up last season, Marseille will once again be looking to their formidable home form as they kick off 2018/19 against Eintracht.
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Marseille, the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League runners-up, begin their 2018/19 European campaign with a first meeting against German Cup holders Eintracht Frankfurt at the Stade Vélodrome, where they were in formidable form throughout last season's lengthy continental adventure.
• Marseille ended a run of three home games without a win against German visitors when they overcame RB Leipzig 5-2 in the second leg of last season's quarter-final. Their overall record in such fixtures is W5 D1 L3.
• Frankfurt's only win in four trips to France came last time out, beating Bordeaux 1-0 in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League group stage.
• Marseille finished fourth in last season's Ligue 1 to claim an immediate return to the UEFA Europa League.
• This is the Cote d'Azur club's fourth UEFA Europa League group stage participation. They failed to reach the knockout phase at the first attempt, in 2012/13, but managed to do so in 2015/16 and 2017/18, going all the way in the latter to the final in Lyon, where they lost 3-0 to Atlético Madrid. They were runners-up also in the 1998/99 and 2003/04 UEFA Cups.
• Marseille staged ten UEFA Europa League matches at home last season – from the third qualifying round to the semi-finals – and won nine of them. The only team that denied them victory at the Stade Vélodrome were Salzburg – 0-0 in the group stage – but OM remedied that by defeating the same opponents 2-0 there in the first leg of the semi-final.
• A dramatic 2017/18 German Cup final victory over Bundesliga champions Bayern München – 3-1 in Berlin – not only gave Eintracht their first major silverware in 30 years but also secured their first European campaign in five.
• Eintracht's only European participation in the past dozen seasons came in 2013/14, when they successfully negotiated the UEFA Europa League play-offs and group stage before going out to Porto in the round of 32.
• The 1980 UEFA Cup winners won three of their five away fixtures in that 2013/14 campaign and have lost just one of their last eight European games on the road (W3 D4).
Links and trivia
• International team-mates:
Kevin Strootman & Jetro Willems, Jonathan de Guzmán (Netherlands)
Hiroki Sakai & Makoto Hasebe (Japan)
Duje Ćaleta-Car & Ante Rebić (Croatia)
Nemanja Radonjić & Luka Jović, Filip Kostić, Mijat Gačinović (Serbia)
• Marseille's Strootman and Eintracht's Willems played together at PSV Eindhoven from 2011 to 2013.
• Marseille defender Ćaleta-Car played under current Eintracht coach Adi Hütter at Salzburg in 2014/15.
• Kevin Trapp is on loan at Eintracht from Paris Saint-Germain, with whom he has played four times against Marseille, winning on each occasion.
• Marseille coach since October 2016, Rudi Garcia started out as a midfielder at LOSC Lille, returning to coach the club between 2008 and 2013 and masterminding their Ligue 1/Coupe de France double in 2010/11. He subsequently spent three seasons in charge of Roma, leading the Giallorossi to back-to-back runners-up spots in Serie A. In 2017/18 he steered OM from the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League all the way to the final in Lyon, where they were defeated by Atlético Madrid.
• 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.