The task of playing a match every three or four days in either the Bundesliga, DFB Cup or UEFA Champions League continues for Eintracht as they prepare to meet Sporting Clube de Portugal in Lisbon on Tuesday evening (kick-off 21:00 CET). All four teams in Group D can still advance to the last 16, and all four can still be either eliminated or relegated to the Europa League.
As such, Oliver Glasner’s side have all the motivation they need ahead of their second encounter with Sporting. “It will be a very intense game, but we’re good when it comes to playing in finals!” Kevin Trapp told DAZN after the victory against Marseille.
“Only a win will do,” added Kristijan Jakic. “If we can do that then we’re definitely in the last 16, which would be reward for our hard work.”
Playing to our strengths
To be successful in the Portuguese capital, the Eagles need to produce a performance even better than in the reverse fixture in the club’s Champions League debut. That night, Sporting’s ruthlessness in front of goal was the only difference between the sides in a 3-0 defeat for Eintracht, even if the scoreline did not reflect the real balance of play. “Every game in this group is 50-50,” said Djibril Sow. “In the first game against them we were the better team in the first half, but we were too naïve. Now we’ve made progress and we want to demonstrate that on Tuesday.”
The key components of Glasner’s style of play were clear to see in that game, but they have been reinforced over the past few weeks: defending as a team, a willingness to run and quick transitions. The Eagles will be doing everything they can to book a spot in the next round, even if the last time a German Champions League debutant reached the last 16 was when VfB Stuttgart did so in 2003/04.
“We’re holding our heads up high and going into this final stretch of games full of confidence,” said board member for sport Markus Krösche after the unfortunate 2-1 defeat by Dortmund at the weekend. “We’re all in this together. We’ve got four matches left and we’re going to leave it all out there.”
Kick-off: Tuesday 1 November, 21:00 CET, UEFA Champions League, MD 6
Stadium: Estádio José Alvalade, Lisbon