Baku - Eintracht Frankfurt’s UEFA Europa League campaign begins in Azerbaijan, where they face Qarabag Agdam in the first game of their two-legged third round play-off tie on Thursday evening (kick-off 18.00 CET).

The Eagles’ first continental outing since 2006/07 is the reward for their sixth-placed Bundesliga finish last season.

Tough start


Things haven't been so rosy for Armin Veh's charges this term, however. Although Frankfurt safely negotiated the first round of the DFB Cup with victory over FV Illertissen, they have suffered two league defeats in as many games, including a a 6-1 annihilation away at Hertha Berlin on the opening day.

Matchday 2's performance against quadruple-winners FC Bayern Munich was better, and the players could count themselves unlucky not to have taken something from the 1-0 loss. Nevertheless, being bottom of the table isn’t what Veh would have envisaged on the eve of Frankfurt’s first European game of the season.

Veh focused


Cynics may have already begun to doubt the squad’s capacity to compete on three fronts this term, but panic needn't set in just yet with only three competitive games played. Coach Veh for one, was keen to focus purely on the task at hand: "Azerbaijan is a new environment for me; I've never been there before. But the fact that we play the away leg first is good for us."

As a curious omen for a German side, Frankfurt will be playing in the Tofiq-Bahramov Stadium, named after the linesman who awarded the famously dubious goal for England in the 1966 World Cup Final against West Germany, which England won 4-2.

Possible line-ups:

Qarabag: Veliyev - Garayev, Medvedev, Sadygov, Guseynov - George, Gurbanov, Muarem, Reynaldo - Nadirov, Gelashvili

Frankfurt: Trapp - Schröck, Zambrano, Anderson, Ozcipka - Aigner, Rode, Flum, Inui - Meier, Lakic