Rapid suffered 2:1 defeat during the midweek against Wolfsberger away from home in the quarter-finals of Austrian Cup, losing a nice chance to secure the European ticket. They were back 2:0 within three minutes in the first halftime (goals conceded in 25th and 28th minute), tried to respond but only managed to reduce the deficit to 2:1 in fifth minute of additional time.
Anyhow, the team is currently second placed and has a great chance to play in Europe, what’s more, to play in Champions League in case they finish between the first two positions. Three days prior to Cup game they won over the same opponent 4:1 at their own stadium, continuing their race with Salzburg, being now six points below the first placed side and today’s game comes as a must win situation for them in case the team wants to remain competitive in the title battle. Home side continues to miss right full back Michael Schimpelsberger who anyway missed the whole season, but also midfielder Louis Schaub (25/3) and defensive midfielder Thanos Petsos (22/0). Recovered but unfit after serious injury is midfielder Andreas Kuen.
Salzburg, on the other hand, qualified with ease for the semi-finals of Cup competition, as the team got a 4:0 victory on the road against Altach. It was an important victory in a difficult seat, as the team preceded already in fourth minute, making a three goals lead within two minutes later on, in 32nd and 34th minute).
Even though they played with ten men since 48th minute, the team still managed to have a balanced game and score another one via Soriano near the end of the game. They also returned to winning ways after a 3:1 victory over Austria last weekend, match in which nineteen years old Lazaro scored two goals and showed some of his talent. In case of a victory today, the team has a chance to almost celebrate the title, but no doubt that the team would accept the draw as well as a positive result, as Rapid has a great offensive lineup as admitted by their coach. Main central defender Martin Hinteregger (24/0) is suspended after elimination in previous game, while other central defender Andre Ramalho (24/0) also won’t play here. Left back Andreas Ulmer is available again, while Japanese forward Takumi Minamino (7/2) remains doubtful, same as right back Christian Schwegler (17/2).
This game might decide the title this year and as such, Rapid is obligated to play it in full offense. Teams have best offensive lineups in the league, while the visiting side has two central defenders absent for this one. Both teams to score and plenty of goals is my first choice here.
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