Qualifier in Liechtenstein: New country, familiar faces
Every week brings a new hurdle for the Eagles to overcome as they aim for the group stage of the UEFA Europa League, and after heading to the Baltic, a trip to the fourth-smallest country in Europe now awaits.
Now that FC Flora Tallinn are out of the way, SGE must turn their attention to the 47-time Liechtenstein Cup winners FC Vaduz, who are taking part in UEFA Europa League qualifying without playing in their own domestic league – quite simply because the country does not have one.
Uncharted territory for the Eagles
For the second time in as many qualifying matches for this year’s UEFA Europa League, Eintracht are visiting a country for the first time. After their trip to the Estonian capital of Tallinn a fortnight ago, they are now heading to Vaduz for their first-ever match in the capital of the Principality of Liechtenstein, to take on FC Vaduz in the Rheinpark Stadion. In the previous round, Vaduz overturned a 1-0 first-leg deficit away from home with a 2-0 win after extra time to see off Hungarian Cup winners Fehervar.
Familiar foes for Adi Hütter
Vaduz will not be an unknown quantity for head coach Adi Hütter and his assistant Christian Peintinger, however, since the team plays in the Swiss second tier, or Challenge League. From 2014 and 2017, they were even in the Super League.
During those three years in Switzerland’s top flight, they regularly locked horns with BSC Young Boys, and in the second and third of those seasons, Hütter was at the helm for YB. The Austrian now gets to return to Vaduz, but in charge of Eintracht this time, and finds himself pitted for the first time against old acquaintance Milan Gajic, who played under him in Berne. Hopefully the trip will bring Hütter both his and Eintracht’s first ever win in the Principality.
Kick-off: Thursday 8 August, 20:30 CEST, UEFA Europa League second qualifying round (first leg)
Venue: Rheinpark Stadion, Vaduz