With the Europa League having started, SCF will have to deal with three matches within a week again, just like they did last season. Winning goalscorer Maximilian Philipp doesn’t see this as a negative and reacts with a chuckle to a journalists’ statement that “You have energy…”: “I am fresh. And we want to have as many games as possible.”
The next opponents, Eintracht Frankfurt, are also familiar with these kinds of weeks. This season, the team newly coached by Dino Toppmöller are involved internationally again, playing in the Conference League. On Thursday evening, Eintracht began their campaign with a 2-1 win over Aberdeen. Two set-piece goals paved the way to victory. Both teams are working constantly. “Frankfurt are in the same position as us,” says Philipp. “We’ll see who’s got more energy.”
For Frankfurt, the match against Aberdeen ended in a downer, with Sebastian Rode picking up an injury. “He most probably won’t make it on Sunday,” said his head coach, who has had a mixed start to life in the Bundesliga with his new side: the opening win over Darmstadt has been followed by three draws.
Fiery atmosphere expected
After consecutive defeats in Stuttgart and against Dortmund, SC are hoping for a positive result in the league again. Head coach Christian Streich wants to take the momentum from the Europa League into the game. “The win in Athens was huge for us, because the defeat against Dortmund hurt. We played a good game.”
Vincenzo Grifo, who was also one of the goalscorers against the Greek side after converting a penalty, agrees with his coach: “The win is good for us. It gives us some upward momentum after the last two league games. Grifo and centre-back Matthias Ginter both see a connection between the encounter in Piraeus and the next game with Frankfurt: “The atmosphere in Frankfurt will be similarly fiery as in Athens,” agree the pair.
In the stands, it may be similar to last time out in Greece. But on the pitch Ginter expects “a completely different game.” The aim is clear: “It’s not easy to play all three days and then have two away games in a row. But we now want to win in the league again.”
Photo: Achim Keller