Having won six out of six in the group stage, Eintracht Frankfurt will seek to continue their flawless campaign at new entrants Shakhtar Donetsk.
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After a flawless group stage with six wins out of six, Eintracht Frankfurt will hope to maintain their victory charge away to Shakhtar Donetsk, who have crossed over from the UEFA Champions League after finishing third in their section behind Manchester City and Lyon.
• Shakhtar won just one of their six group games in the UEFA Champions League. A victory on matchday six at home to Lyon would have kept them in the competition at their opponents' expense, but they could only draw 1-1 in Kyiv.
• It was plain sailing for Eintracht in UEFA Europa League Group H as they won home and away against Lazio, Apollon Limassol and 2017/18 runners-up Marseille, scoring 17 goals in the process.
• The clubs were paired together in the 1980/81 UEFA Cup first round when Eintracht, in their first game as holders, lost 1-0 in Donetsk before recovering to win the Frankfurt return 3-0.
• That was the first tie against Bundesliga opposition for Shakhtar, who at the time were representing the Soviet Union. The Pitmen's overall record against German clubs is W7 D7 L6, including a 2-1 win against Werder Bremen in the 2009 UEFA Cup final. At home they have drawn all of the last five such encounters, the latest 2-2 against Hoffenheim in this season's UEFA Champions League.
• Eintracht's three visits to Ukraine have all ended in defeat but they have won two of the three ties, most recently against Dnipro in the 1993/94 UEFA Cup second round (2-0 home, 0-1 away).
• Shakhtar qualified for this season's UEFA Champions League as winners of the Ukrainian championship, claiming the title for the 11th time in 2017/18, when they also won the Ukrainian Cup to complete a second successive domestic double.
• The Ukrainian club's first two group stage encounters both finished 2-2, at home to Hoffenheim and away to Lyon, but they were then beaten heavily home (0-3) and away (0-6) by Manchester City. A last-gasp 3-2 success at Hoffenheim kept hopes alive only for the draw with Lyon to end their campaign.
• This is the fifth time that Shakhtar have been involved in the UEFA Europa League round of 32, but they have won only one tie – against German opposition in 2015/16, Shakhtar following up a goalless draw against Schalke in Lviv with a 3-0 win in Gelsenkirchen in which Marlos and Viktor Kovalenko both scored. Shakhtar have lost at this stage against Fulham (2009/10), Viktoria Plzeň (2013/14) and Celta Vigo (2016/17) and have yet to win their home leg in the round of 32 (D2 L2).
• Shakhtar failed to win any of their home games in this season's UEFA Champions League group stage (D2 L1), but have lost only two of their last 17 European games on Ukrainian soil (W11 D4). They are without a clean sheet, however, in the last eight.
• 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 German club 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.
• Eintracht's only other European participation in the past dozen seasons came in 2013/14, when they successfully negotiated the UEFA Europa League play-offs and group stage, topping their section with 15 points, before going out on away goals to Porto in the round of 32 (2-2 away, 3-3 home).
• 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 11 European games on the road (W6 D4).
• Eintracht's overall record in the UEFA Europa League, home and away and including qualifying, is W13 D2 L1, the sole defeat coming at Maccabi Tel-Aviv (2-4) in November 2013. They have scored two or more goals in all but one of their last 17 European fixtures and have not drawn a blank since a 0-0 draw at home to Newcastle in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup group stage.
UEFA Europa League squad changes
In: Manor Solomon, Valeriy Bondarenko, Maksym Malyshev, Mykhailo Mudryk
Out: Oleg Danchenko, Yaroslav Rakits'kyy, Marquinhos Cipriano
In: Sebastian Rode, Martin Hinteregger, Timothy Chandler
Out: Deji-Ousman Beyreuther, Noel Knothe, Francisco Geraldes, Nicolai Müller
Links and trivia
• Frankfurt boss Adi Hütter was the coach of Swiss club Young Boys when they eliminated Shakhtar on penalties in the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, Paulo Fonseca's first European engagement as Shakhtar coach.
• Eintracht goalkeeper Kevin Trapp kept two clean sheets against Shakhtar for Paris Saint-Germain in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League group stage (3-0 away, 2-0 home). Earlier that year Sebastian Rode was in the Bayern München side that defeated the Pitmen 7-0 in the round of 16 second leg.
• Shakhtar's Maycon and Eintracht's Allan played together in Brazil's Under-20 team.
• Eintracht are the first German club to win all six of their matches in a UEFA Europa League group stage – a feat Shakhtar also achieved on their last participation in 2016/17.
• With five goals in the group stage, Eintracht striker Luka Jović is second in the competition's top scorer standings behind Salzburg’s Munas Dabbur. Mijat Gaćinović is also second in the assists chart with four, behind only BATE Borisov's Igor Stasevich (six).
• Eintracht are one of seven teams to have come through the UEFA Europa League group stage undefeated, along with Salzburg, Dinamo Zagreb, Arsenal, Betis, Villarreal and Chelsea.
• There are ten former winners of the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League in this season's round of 32. This is the only tie between two of those clubs.
• Paulo Fonseca took over at Shakhtar in summer 2016, replacing the legendary Mircea Lucescu, who had spent 12 years in the post. A central defender of modest repute, he paid his dues as a coach in his native Portugal, first making his mark at Paços de Ferreira and joining Porto in 2013. He won the Portuguese Cup with Braga before leaving for Shakhtar, with whom he won the Ukrainian league and cup double in each of his first two seasons.
• 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.