Ahead of Inter’s Europa League round of 16 first leg match-up with Eintracht Frankfurt, SempreInter.com spoke exclusively with Bundesliga commentator Kevin Hatchard to get the low down on the Nerazzurri’s European opponents.

What kind of team are Eintracht?

“Eintracht Frankfurt already had a very solid base when coach Adi Hutter replaced Niko Kovac. Before leaving to join Bayern Munich, Kovac had developed a tenacious and well-organised group, turning the Eagles from relegation candidates to DFB Cup winners in two-and-half seasons.
“Hutter’s first few games raised genuine fears that the players couldn’t cope with his pressing game, or the more expansive style he wanted to adopt. His debut was a humiliating disaster, as Frankfurt were shredded 5-0 at home by Bayern in the Supercup. Worse was to follow, as the team lost its grip on the DFB Cup by losing at fourth-division Ulm.

“The subsequent transformation has been stellar. The players understand the tactics now, and press ferociously. They are at their most dangerous when they win the ball high up the pitch, allowing Ante Rebic, Luka Jovic and Sebastien Haller to do damage.”

Luka Jovic has been in fine form this season, is he Eintracht’s key player?

“Frankfurt like to win the ball high, but they can also play long to the tall and strong Haller, who has been in my eyes their most important player. Jovic is an excellent finisher, but Haller has a better all-round game.”

What other players should Inter be wary of aside from Jovic and Haller?

“Wing-backs Filip Kostic and Danny Da Costa are energetic and a real attacking threat, while veteran defender Makoto Hasebe is one of the team’s key players at the age of 35. Kevin Trapp has been a big upgrade in goal, and midfielder Sebastian Rode has slotted in well since his return to the club.”

Finally, a prediction for this leg. Will home advantage make the difference for Eintracht?

“The Frankfurt public have really embraced this competition, and the Commerzbank Arena will be jam-packed and noisy. Given Inter’s stuttering form, I’d back Frankfurt to take a first leg lead.”

Kevin Hatchard is an English commentator who primarily commentates on the Bundesliga in English. He also works with UEFA and talkSport Radio and writes for Betfair. You can follow Kevin on Twitter here @kevinhatchard.