Eintracht Frankfurt will be looking to continue their good form against Inter Milan in the first leg of their Europa League Round of 16 tie. The German side are unbeaten in their last nine games and they’ll be looking to pose a bigger challenge to Inter Milan than Rapid Wien did.
Frankfurt have had a fantastic season so far, currently occupying fifth spot in the Bundesliga, winning 11 and drawing seven of their 24 games this season. Inter are currently meeting expectations in Serie A, sitting fourth but they have found themselves susceptible to a slip-up against lesser sides.
The hosts will be without Lucas Torro and Gelson Fernandes who are both sidelined with injuries alongside Ante Rebic who was forced off with injury at half-time against Hoffenheim at the weekend. Visitors Inter will have to make do without Sime Vrsalijko and Balde Keita who miss out with injury and the absent Mauro Icardi is not being considered for selection.
Adi Hütter’s side have one of the best home records in Germany, picking up 21 points from their 12 home games this season and they will be looking to make Inter Milan their next Europa League scalp after beating Shakhtar Donetsk 6-3 on aggregate in the previous round. Luciano Spalletti’s side have done well on their travels so far this campaign, winning six and drawing three of their 14 away games in Serie A and they will be looking to showcase their impressive away record in Frankfurt.
With domestic success out of the window for both sides, they’ll be keen to find continental victory. However, with the pair enduring decent campaigns in their respective divisions, any European success would be an added bonus instead of a necessity.
To grab more of an insight on Inter Milan, we spoke to SempreInter.com journalist Cammy Anderson:
1.) How would you sum up Inter Milan’s domestic season so far?
Having secured Champions League qualification on the final day last season, the target this season was to qualify again and Inter are currently on course to do that. So I guess you could say good so far on the whole but silly defeats to lesser clubs have been a cause for concern though throughout the season.
2.) Inter knocked out Rapid Wien in the Round of 32, do you think they have the capabilities to repeat the trick against Frankfurt?
Frankfurt will certainly be a tougher opponent than Rapid but with all due respect to them, Inter have beaten and contested with better sides in both domestic and Europe competition this term. So I am certainly confident that Inter can get the win over the two legs.
3.) What’s been the real standout result for Inter this season?
The 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League stands out. After a few years away from the Champions League, Inter returned with a bang and showed they were not to be messed with.
4.) Since the turn of the year, defeats to Torino, Bologna and Cagliari has seen any progress come to a halt. What’s been the issue for Inter in these games?
The wheels always traditionally fall off for Inter at the turn of the year and that’s been the case for a number of years. Nobody is quite sure why it happens year after year though despite players and managers changing.
5.) What players should we be looking out for?
Lautaro Martinez: The Argentine youngster has stepped in quite comfortably in the absence of Mauro Icardi. While still a bit raw and not exactly Icardi, he has shown that he knows where the goal is and has scored a few goals recently.
Ivan Perisic: Perisic seemed to suffer from a World Cup hangover for the first half of the season but in past weeks he’s begun to show his true self and he will certainly cause Frankfurt some problems down the wing.
6.) Prediction for both legs…
A score draw in the first leg with Inter going on to do what’s needed to progress in the second leg back in Milan.