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UEFA Champions League

Eintracht confident against Napoli despite fan ban and absent strikers



Eintracht Frankfurt will be without their top strikers and their travelling fans for Wednesday’s Champions League Round of 16 second leg but coach Oliver Glasner is confident his team can still overturn their 2-0 first-leg deficit.

Frankfurt will be missing suspended France international Randal Kolo Muani and injured Jesper Lindstrom who have scored a combined 18 goals in the Bundesliga this season.

To make matters worse Italian authorities have banned German supporters from the stadium due to security concerns following violence between fans in the first leg.

“We are here to overturn this 2-0,” Glasner told a news conference on Tuesday. “That’s our goal. We had a long time to analyse the defeat. We want to score at least twice and will give it all to get into the last eight.”

Last year’s Europa League champions have not won a game since their Feb. 21 first-leg defeat at home, having drawn two and lost one of their subsequent Bundesliga games.

The absence of Lindstrom and Kolo Muani further complicates their need for goals against the Italians.


“We have shown in the past that we can compensate for any injuries. We are missing two attackers but others will play, who can help us score. One player cannot win the game. We can only do it as a team,” he said.

They will need to produce something special to get the better of Napoli, led by talented 22-year-old Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who are enjoying a scintillating season and sit top in Serie A.

“We will throw everything we have into this game,” Glasner said. “We are not arrogant but we do want to present ourselves on the big stage with all our qualities,” he added.

As for the lack of German support from the stands, he said it would have little impact on his players’ focus.

“It has no influence. We would have liked to have them there but its something we cannot influence,” said the Austrian. “We know that many will not be present physically but they will support us. We will not let ourselves be influenced by it.”


“We want to represent Eintracht and our football and we will do it from the first minute to the last and see what comes out.”

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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