25,000 fans will be allowed to attend the Deutsche Bank Park on Thursday to see Eintracht return to the European stage. Head coach Oliver Glasner will not be among them, however, and it is assistant coach Michael Angerschmid who will have to take the reins, for somewhat unusual reasons…
Back in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons, Glasner was known to send his VfL Wolfsburg team back out after the half-time break a little later than was allowed. This happened on three different occasions in European matches, and as such Glasner was categorised as a repeat offender.
After wins at Adana Demirspor (1-0), at home to Antalyaspor (2-0) and away to Altay İzmir (2-0), Fenerbahce dropped their first points of the season on Sunday when they were held to a surprise 1-1 draw at home to Sivasspor. They currently sit joint third in the table, behind Besiktas and Trabzonspor on goal difference.
They have kicked off this league campaign playing a very open yet physically robust brand of football, with the various new recruits to the team all fitting in very quickly. Mesut Özil was back in the starting line-up against Sivasspor on Sunday for the first time since the opening match of the season, with two other Germans making their debuts in that match: EURO U21 winner Mergim Berisha, who joined at the beginning of September from FC Salzburg, and former Schalke and Köln player Max Meyer, who was unattached before being picked up by the club.
Eintracht and Fenerbahce have met only once before in European competition, on 13 December 2006 when the Eagles played out a 2-2 draw in front of a capacity crowd at the Sükrü Saracoglu Stadium in the last match of the UEFA Cup group phase. Back then, home and away matches only came into effect in the knockout stage.
Kick-off: Thursday 16 September 2021, 21:00 CEST, UEFA Europa League Matchday 1
Stadium: Frankfurt Stadion, Frankfurt.