Friday morning Inter will host Frankfurt in the 2nd leg of the round of 16 clash of the Europa League. Coming of a 0-0 draw in Germany the odds will be stacked against the home team, who failed to score an away goal. Effectively if Frankfurt manages to put the ball in the back of the net, Inter will need to score 2. This in fact will play favourably into the German team, who have failed to lose in this year’s competition.
Last time they met:
The last time these two teams played was only a week ago, where the final result was a 0-0 draw. It was a war of attrition. Neither side was able to score the decisive goal in a match which was extremely even. Possession was split 50/50, and both teams had their chances. Inter would be disappointed at the fact that they were unable to convert a penalty in the first half. Looking back, if the penalty was converted Inter would be heading into the 2nd leg with a little more confidence.
Currently Frankfurt is sitting in 6th place in the German Bundesliga and is undefeated in 7 matches. Their last domestic loss was to European giants Bayern Munich where they lost 3-0 on December 23rd 2018. If they carry this form into the Europa league encounter Inter will have a battle on their hands.
Frankfurt was extremely impressive in the group stage of the competition. They won all 6 group stage matches, scoring 17 goals and only conceding 5. In the process they defeated Italian side Lazio 2-1 and 4-1.
In the round of 32 Frankfurt faced Russian Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk. The first match was a 2-2 draw but following that they beat them 4-1 in the 2nd leg.
Frankfurt have scored at least once in their last 11 away matches, making the task harder for inter. Further this, the German side have only lost once in their last 20 Europa league matches.
Inter currently do not boast the form that Frankfurt currently have. They have been displaying instability in both their domestic and European performances. The team has been rocked with drama both on and off the field. Injuries have hampered the team in the last couple of months, with their midfield and attack becoming depleted. The injury list is extensive with big names like Perisic, Nainggolan, Icardi, Balde, and most recently Brozovic all out.
Off the field there has been ongoing speculation of their coach Spalletti, with criticism over his role with the club. Recent performances have shone a light on if he is an adequate coach and is suitable for the role. The biggest off the field drama would involve their former captain Mauro Icardi. Since the January transfer window his has been off ‘Injured’. This coincidentally comes as the captaincy was taken off him following conflict between his manager/wife Wanda. Failing to meet a deal with the club on a contract extension Icardi has not stepped onto the pitch.
Further this Inter will be playing without their current striker Martinez due to suspension. This followed a yellow card in the previous match. With no definitive time frame onto the return of Icardi, and Martinez suspended Inter have no one to put as a striker.
Overall it would be hard for Inter to come away with a convincing win. This is because the squad has been depleted through injury and suspension. Another convincing factor would be their domestic clash against rivals Milan, only 3 days later.
On the other had Frankfurt has been showing dominance as of late. Their Europa league form is not to be taken as a joke. The fact that they are also playing away, with nothing being conceded at home also favours them.
Match prediction would have to be Inter 1 Frankfurt 1 – Frankfurt going through with away goals.