Having in mind how the game was developing last weekend, Sturm has to be happy with the final 4:4 draw away to Neustadt last weekend. They were twice in a double behind their opponents, losing 2:0 and 4:2 but managed to improve in last moments before the final whistle and score two goals in last couple of minutes.
Altach and Rapid also had setbacks in previous round, so Sturm remained in contention for the second position at Championship race. The team is currently fourth, but with only two points less than Rapid, which means that they could overtake the Champions League ticket in case of a victory here. No doubt that they will be under pressure for this game, while the stadium will be packed as the tickets were sold out long time ago. Coach tried to calm down the things saying that the victory would be important here, but ain’t gonna be decisive in their race. Central defender Michael Madl (27/1) suffered an injury and is doubtful for this game, while midfielder Marko Stankovic (24/10) continues to lose the rest of the season due serious injury. Young striker Bright Edomwonyi (6/0) is also out injured. Right full back Martin Ehrenreich (18/1) is also injured, while defender Lukas Spendlhofer (27/1) suffers from muscular problem, but could be playing here.
Rapid Vienna, on the other side, suffered a setback last weekend welcoming Admira and staying to a 1:1 draw only. However, the team remained at the second position as Sturm also had a setback, but the difference between the two sides is now only two points, while Altach also plays quite a role in the Champions League ticket race, being between the sides, but with a game more played as well.
However, it has to be said that the players of Sturm were much better than their opponent last weekend, but failed to score a goal early and as the time progressed, they looked more and more nervous. They did however took the lead in 70th minute, but conceded equalizer ten minutes later. They go into this game with good recent tradition, as the team have won four out of last five matches, having a draw between victories as well, while the coach Barisic has said that he expects a great game, fantastic atmosphere but also a huge challenge for his players. Visitors have no fresh problems for this game, as they only miss long-term absences, midfielders Louis Schaub (25/3) and Andreas Kuen (no performance yet in the season).
Important match for both teams will be this one, both are well aware that in case of a victory they would be much more closer of sealing the Champions League ticket. The teams are coming from setbacks and surely will want to bounce back victorious. I can’t imagine this game otherwise, but being very open and attacking minded from both sides, with over coming easier than the bookies expect.
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