In the round of 16 of the DFB Pokal, Eintracht Frankfurt host Darmstadt in what is known as the Hesse Derby. This is the first meeting since 2017.
Both teams come into this game in very good form, Frankfurt comfortably beat Hertha Berlin 3-0 with a double from Randal Kolo Muani and a late goal from Aurélio Buta. The win kept them in fifth but closed the gap on the top four to one point.
Darmstadt on the other hand remain unbeaten since July. They lost the opening game of the 2. Bundesliga to Jahn Regensburg and have gone on a 18 match unbeaten run which they extended at the weekend with a comfortable 4-0 win against Sandhausen. The win maintains their two point lead at the top of the 2. Bundesliga as they fight for promotion to the Bundesliga.
For Frankfurt fans, this derby is not as big as their derby with Kickers Offenbach, but there is still enough tension between the two for trouble to occur. Recently, after Darmstadt’s game against Sandhausen, Frankfurt fans intended to board a train that Darmstadt fans were using to travel back from their game in Sandhausen and attack the fans, but police were able to intervene before it happened. The one thing both clubs have in common is their dislike of Offenbach.
Darmstadt will have the confidence to cause an upset in this game as in the previous round they convincingly beat Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-1 whilst also being the most in-form team in the 2. Bundesliga but they have struggled to be ruthless in front of goal. Frankfurt will likely field a slightly weaker line-up so they’re attacking firepower in Kolo Muani and Jesper Lindstrøm maybe not used in this game. Both teams will want to get the upper hand due to not playing each other for nearly five years but whoever loses will likely not have to wait long to get revenge.
The teams last played each other when Darmstadt were in the Bundesliga in 2017. Frankfurt won the game 2-0 with goals from Makoto Hasebe and Ante Rebic. Hasebe and Timothy Chandler are the only players still in the Frankfurt squad today.
GGFN | Jack Meenan