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Jos Luhukay's side face their stiffest test of the season when Eintracht Frankfurt leave their calling card at the Millerntor on Wednesday evening, of that there can be no doubt. If the Boys in Brown are to reach the last 16 of the DFB Cup for the first time in 13 years, they will need to produce one of those magical nights.

The tie certainly has all the ingredients to be magical. Let's be honest, Hells Bells under the floodlights takes some beating. For the first time since the 2-0 defeat against Hertha BSC in 2016, the Boys in Brown will have a sniff of the Bundesliga in a competitive fixture. Eintracht coach Adi Hütter is known for his brand of attacking football, so they will have to be fully focused and ready to give their all from the outset to get the fans on their side. All for one for that one glorious moment. On the field and in the stands.

It wouldn't be the first time the Millerntor crowd have put in an outstanding performance. Kiel was breathtaking, and there are no words to describe the derby that followed. Eintracht will work us hard and push the lads to the limit. To eke out the extra couple of per cent that could make the difference, Jos Luhukay's charges will have to play with the same emotion that the Eagles did to progress to the semi-final of the Europa League last season.

Hütter's team won lot of plaudits for their football on both the domestic and the European stage last term, thrilling the fans with performances bursting with fight and passion. The "buffalo herd" of Luka Jovic, Sebastien Haller and Ante Rebic may be plying their trade all over Europe now, but the Eintracht spirit remains tangible. Frankfurt have a good mix in the squad. The experience of captain David Abraham and Makoto Hasebe. The pace of Filip Kostic and Danny da Costa. The strength in the tackle of Martin Hinteregger and Sebastian Rode. And they are always good for a goal. In Goncalo Pacienca, André Silva and Bas Dost, the Eagles boast a potent attacking force that has made the scoresheet in every league game this season. 

This is where the Boys in Brown will have to give as good as they get. To muster all their courage and, working as a unit, turn it into an open game. Apart from the last two games, Jos Luhukay's side have also found the net in every competitive fixture this season, so anything is possible. We have quality players of our own, after all. Players with plenty of potential, but also plenty to learn. In the recent 1-0 defeats against Darmstadt and Heidenheim, the Boys in Brown were by no means inferior. They were simply made to pay at key moments. But if everyone is willing to help each other on the pitch and go the extra yard needed to cause an upset, it could be another of those magical Millerntor nights.


Photo: Witters