The visitors currently occupy second spot ahead of Sporting Lisbon due to head-to-head rules, with Frankfurt two points behind both teams.
Despite narrowly losing 3-2 away to Tottenham Hotspur last time out in this competition, Frankfurt should head into Wednesday’s tie against Marseille with plenty of confidence having notched three successive domestic victories since their defeat in North London.
A 2-0 win away to Stuttgarter Kickers in the DFB-Pokal has been sandwiched by impressive 5-1 and 3-1 wins against Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach respectively, with Oliver Glasner‘s side moving up to fourth in the Bundesliga as a result.
This is Frankfurt’s first-ever time competing in the modern Champions League, having only ever been in the European Cup when losing to Real Madrid in the 1959-60 final. As such, Glasner will be determined to ensure that their European journey does not end at the group stage this time around having miraculously won the Europa League last season to qualify for this tournament.
Beating Marseille and Sporting in their final two matches would almost certainly ensure their progression to the knockout stages, with four points potentially enough, too, although much depends on how Tottenham fare in the other games. Frankfurt can only focus on themselves, starting from Wednesday.
Marseille, on the other hand, travel to Germany in wretched form domestically, having suffered three successive defeats to fall to fifth in the Ligue 1 table.
Les Phocéens trailed Paris Saint-Germain by only two points after nine matches, but any hopes of challenging for the title this season have been shattered by defeats to Ajaccio, Lens and their Parisian rivals in recent weeks.
In Europe, however, Igor Tudor‘s side’s position is much healthier after beating Sporting home and away to climb to second in Group D, although there is still plenty of work for them to do if they are to reach the knockout stages for the first time in more than a decade.
There is a scenario where that fate could be sealed on Wednesday, though: should they win in Frankfurt and Tottenham beat Sporting on their home turf, then Marseille would be guaranteed at least second place due to their superior head-to-head record versus the Portuguese Primeira Liga runners-up. Tudor’s players could scarcely need any more incentive to return to winning ways, then.
With Almamy Toure unregistered in their Champions League squad, it remains to be seen who Glasner will turn to in defence, with 20-year-old Hrvoje Smolcic and club captain Sebastian Rode providing potential options alongside Evan Ndicka and Kristijan Jakic in the hosts’ back three.
Marseille, meanwhile, are sweating on the fitness of former Manchester United defender Eric Bailly due to a dead leg, but otherwise Tudor appears to have a fully-fit squad to choose from.
The likes of Gerson, Dimitri Payet, Luis Suarez and Cengiz Under were all named as substitutes for the defeat to Lens at the weekend and will hope to be included in the starting XI in Frankfurt on Wednesday to provide some attacking spark.
Eintracht Frankfurt possible starting lineup:
Trapp; Smolcic, Jakic, Ndicka; Ebimbe, Kamada, Sow, Pellegrini; Lindstrom, Gotze; Kolo Muani
Marseille possible starting lineup:
LLopez; Mbembe, Gigot, Balerdi; Clauss, Rongier, Veretout, Tavares; Gerson, Under; Sanchez