Inter Milan preview: Showdown at the San Siro
The 0-0 draw with Inter Milan in the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg puts Eintracht Frankfurt in a solid position for the decider at the San Siro, where the Eagles can count on great support.
The winner of the tie between Eintracht and Inter will be determined at the legendary San Siro stadium. It’s been the scene of plenty of great matches in the past, and the fans travelling from Frankfurt will be hoping for another historic evening on Thursday. They are already on course to pen another chapter in the history books for setting a new attendance record for away fans in the Europa League: the current best-mark of approximately 12,000 was also set by Eintracht supporters in Bordeaux in 2013, but around 15,000 will be cheering on the Eagles in Thursday’s second leg.
Happy hunting ground for German teams
While Inter's history and venerable stadium deserve respect, Eintracht have no reason to be fearful. Former Eagles striker Jan Aage Fjörtoft agrees: “Because of its size, the stadium doesn’t feel very homely. That could be an advantage for Eintracht because, unlike the home leg, there won’t be this cauldron of noise in the second leg.”
Therefore, it could well feel like another home game for the Eagles, with board member Axel Hellmann estimating that at least 15,000 fans will travel to Milan, where they’ll be looking to make their presence felt once again. By way of contrast, the competition evokes less interest among the locals: only around 32,000 fans attended the home leg against Rapid Wien in the last round, of which 5,000 were visiting supporters.
Further cause for optimism stems from other German clubs who have triumphed in the competition at the San Siro. The most recent of these was VfL Wolfsburg, who progressed thanks to a 2-1 victory – also in the round of 16 – in the 2014/15 season, while Borussia Dortmund (1994) and FC Bayern Munich (1989) have likewise won knockout games at Inter. FC Schalke 04 even celebrated the greatest success in their club’s history at the San Siro when they beat Inter in the final of the 1997 UEFA Cup. Eintracht will be hoping it’s their turn on Thursday night.
Kick-off: Thursday 14 March 2019, 21:00 CET, UEFA Europa League Round of 16 second leg.
Venue: San Siro, Milan.