Eintracht Frankfurt have nothing to fear as they travel to Arsenal in the UEFA Europa League. - © 2019 Getty Images
Eintracht Frankfurt have nothing to fear as they travel to Arsenal in the UEFA Europa League. - © 2019 Getty Images

5 reasons Eintracht Frankfurt can beat Arsenal in the UEFA Europa League group stage

Eintracht Frankfurt will be looking to narrow the gap to Arsenal at the top of UEFA Europa League Group F on Thursday, and they have every reason to believe they can win in London.

bundesliga.com gives you five reasons why the Eagles can take control of their own destiny heading into the final round of group matches by taking three points at Arsenal...

1) New triumvirate, same story

Last season, Luka Jovic, Sebastian Haller, and Ante Rebic scored 68 per cent of the club's Bundesliga goals. That meant the departure of all three, known as the 'buffalo herd', left a massive void. "We need another animal. Crocodiles are great and they're killers," explained forward Goncalo Paciencia. "I want to be a killer in front of goal."

The Portuguese forward, who played back-up to last season's front three, stated his bloodlust for hitting the back of the net five times in ten early-season competitive games, including taking two bites out of Flora Tallinn in the UEFA Europa League preliminary rounds, meaning he has three to his name in the competition this season.

Watch: Paciencia played his part in thrashing champions Bayern Munich

He has been joined by Bas Dost, who has Europa League pedigree from four goals in the competition at his previous clubs Wolfsburg and Sporting Lisbon.

And then add in Andre Silva, who arrived on loan from AC Milan as Rebic went the other way. The 23-year-old has a stunning goalscoring record. He struck four times in eight UEFA Champions League outings for Porto in the 2016/17 campaign, and has 15 goals in 33 international matches for European champions Portugal. He also netted six in 10 Europa League matches for Milan in 2017/18. None of those goals came against Arsenal as the Gunners dumped the Rossoneri out of the competition in the knockout stages - Thursday presents an opportunity to make amends.

2) The Chelsea standard

Taking the 2018/19 Europa League as a benchmark, Frankfurt have a psychological edge.

The Bundesliga outfit's spectacular run in last season's competition was ended by eventual winners Chelsea, but only in a penalty shoot-out following two 1-1 draws. Arsenal, by contrast, made the final, but were comprehensively outplayed by Chelsea in Baku, losing 4-1.

Frankfurt also have a pretty good recent record against English teams. They were unbeaten in five encounters with Premier League opponents before losing at home to Arsenal at the start of the current season's campaign.

Frankfurt were not beaten by Chelsea over 210 minutes in the semi-finals last season, with only a penalty shoot-out in London ending their campaign. - imago images / Jan Huebner

3) Eagles flying under European lights

There is something about European games that brings out the best in Frankfurt. Their Europa League record is hugely impressive. In 34 games in the competition, including qualifying, they have won a whopping 23 times and lost on just five occasions, while no team has ever beaten them twice.

Eintracht also have history in the competition having won it as the UEFA Cup back in 1980. At home, the Eagles have lost just one of their last 17 in Europe and one of seven in the Bundesliga, including a stunning 5-1 thrashing of Bayern Munich. The Commerzbank Arena has become a fortress, but their record on the road is also excellent.

In the Europa League proper, Frankfurt have won eight of their last 13 away from home and only lost three, as well as holding eventual winners Chelsea to a 1-1 draw in London last season. No atmosphere or surroundings have phased them on their travels, and that most certainly won’t begin at the Emirates.

4. FedEx Filip

UEFA rank all players in the Europa League based on their performances not only in the competition, but also domestically. Up in second place on the FedEx Performance Zone is none other than Frankfurt's Filip Kostic – and rightly so.

The Serbian winger, who scored four and provided two assists during Frankfurt's push to the semi-finals last season, has been at it again this season with a goal in the 2-1 defeat to Standard Liege last time out.

One of the criticisms frequently levelled at the Gunners is that they lack strength in defence, in particular at full-back. Kostic will be licking his lips at the prospect of testing Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Calum Chambers again on Thursday, and putting the wow back into wing play again.

There are few better wingers in the game than Filip Kostic - the FedEx Performance Zone proves as much. - Matthias Hangst/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images

5. Going Pete Tong for the Gunners

Fans of Cockney rhyming slang will already know that Pete Tong, in regular English, means 'wrong', and that sums up how things have been going lately for the Gunners.

At the weekend, they needed a 96th-minute Anthony Lacazette goal to salvage a 2-2 draw at home to struggling Southampton. That result extended their wait for a win to over a month, with their last victory coming at home to Vitoria Guimaraes in the Europa League on 24 October.

That required another late rescue job as two free-kicks from substitute Nicolas Pepe in the 80th and 92nd minutes turned around a 2-1 deficit. Since then, they have drawn three times and lost once in the Premier League, been held to a 1-1 draw away at Vitoria and been knocked out of the English League Cup by Liverpool.

The pressure is mounting on head coach Unai Emery and that is bound to create a tense atmosphere at the Emirates, where the Eagles will be circling the carcass.