At the start of the season, no one would have predicted Barcelona being in the Europa League and dropping down from the Champions League was a source of humiliation for the La Liga giants. But now that they’re in it, Barcelona look determined to win the competition, completing the set of major European trophies with it.
Barcelona’s route to the quarter-finals hasn’t been an easy one but they’ve managed to get through it, beating two big names in European football. In the knockout play-off round, Barcelona beat Napoli in what was dubbed the Diego Maradona derby, winning 5-3 on aggregate including a 4-2 victory in Naples. They then beat Galatasaray 2-1 in the last 16, with a win and a draw coming as part of Barcelona’s wider 13-match unbeaten run across all competitions.
For Eintracht Frankfurt this has been an underwhelming season in the Bundesliga, and the Europa League may represent their best chance of playing European football next season. The Eagles are currently ninth in the Bundesliga, five points behind sixth-placed Hoffenheim having only recently turned around their form to go four games unbeaten in the league.
Joined with that four-game unbeaten run in the league were two unbeaten matches in the Europa League, as Eintracht beat Real Betis 3-2 on aggregate in the last 16 to set up this tie. In the Europa League from the start, Eintracht earned a bye to the last 16 having won their group, finishing top ahead of Fenerbahce, Olympiacos and Royal Antwerp and they are still unbeaten in the competition this season.
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Eintracht Frankfurt vs Barcelona: Match Stats
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the reason Barcelona are in the quarter-finals of the Europa League, scoring the winning goal in their 2-1 win over Galatasaray – after Xavi Hernandez’s side had gone 1-0 down. The Gabonese striker is an excellent goalscorer and has re-found his form at Barcelona across all competitions, but he does have a particular proclivity for finding the net in the Europa League. Aubameyang has now scored 24 goals in the Europa League, none of which have been penalties. Only Falcao (27) has scored more non-penalty goals than Aubameyang in Europa League history.
Barcelona will be favourites going into this game but it will be a lot harder than it might appear on paper. Eintracht have never lost at home in major European competition in the quarter-finals and beyond, winning 12 and drawing four of those matches – the most such games any side has ever played in major European competition without being defeated. But Barcelona are also unbeaten in their past 21 games against German teams not called Bayern Munich.
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Barcelona: Squawka Says
Scoreline prediction: Eintracht Frankfurt 1-1 Barcelona
This will be the first ever competitive meeting between these two sides, but Eintracht Frankfurt have already faced Spanish opposition in the Europa League this season, knocking out Real Betis in the round of 16. Barcelona have played a grand total of 64 games against German opposition in UEFA competitions, winning 34 and losing just 17.