One lap before the end of the season, Rapid has the chance to make everything clear. The prerequisite for this, however, is a home win on Wednesday evening (LIVE from 8.30 p.m. in the LAOLA1 ticker >>>>) in the hit against the LASK.
“We want to try again to win and hope that after the game we will be in the same situation as before the game, namely before the LASK,” said Rapid coach Dietmar Kühbauer.
WAC is still in the race for third place
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His troop is up two points. With the WAC four points away, which will receive Rapid on Sunday at the end, another team is in the race for second place. “It is very tight, anything can happen in the last games. We meet two strong teams that are well-rehearsed, experienced and last season also showed on international level that they are good,” said Rapids Sport Managing Director Zoran Barisic Respect.
It is curious that second place at the end of the year can be a bit ungrateful if you fail in the Champions League qualification. Third, however, you have a place in the Europa League group stage. “To be honest, third place is better because you can plan better – economically and athletically. But we are Rapid, we have the mentality to want to win every game. Our goal is second place,” says Barisic very clearly. The Linzers feel the same way. “If there is a position ahead that can still be achieved, it is always the better one,” emphasizes LASK President Siegmund Gruber.
Advantage for the away team
With a view to the current season, the Upper Austrians can hope that a series will continue. So far, the away team has won in three direct duels. In times of no spectator stadiums because of the coronavirus pandemic, this also does much better than usual, according to studies. On August 24, Marko Raguz decided the game in the Allianz Stadium with the 2-1 only in the 95th minute. On June 10th, Taxiarchis Fountas scored in Pasching in the 87th minute for the 1-0 final score.
“Games against the LASK are always close, so little things decide,” Kühbauer is aware. The Burgenlander expects “no magic football” again. “The LASK is keen to break the rhythm, to push it up and wants to take advantage of every mistake immediately. I expect a very competitive game in which there is a fight for every centimeter,” the Rapid Coach suspects. The confidence in his team is right after the last-minute 3-2 win at Sturm Graz and the first success after two goals behind for 35 years. “It was extremely important in all respects,” said Kühbauer.
Barisic with a positive conclusion
According to Barisic, the next step in Vienna is to join the “sensational” second half of the Sturm game. Then a “really good” season could be even better. “If someone had told me in 2019 that we were in a sporting position now, I would have signed it immediately,” said Barisic in conclusion before the last two laps.
In the last two games, Ercan Kara entered the shooter list. “He is getting in better and better and has seen that he can also survive in this league,” said Kühbauer about his attacker. While in the storm there is also the agony of choice due to the return of Fountas, the defense sets up on its own. Due to Maximilian Hofmann’s lock, four central defenders are not available. “This is unique, but those who play will make up for it,” the 49-year-old still looks optimistically ahead.
The Viennese had ten losses, including one-man goalie Richard Strebinger. The blocked regular defender Petar Filipovic has to pass for the Linzers. You want to forget the bitter 0: 1 against the WAC. “The players contributed to the club’s decision. They want to try to get back on the field on the field. That means they have to win tomorrow, and with that attitude we will start tomorrow,” said Vice President Jürgen Werner.
LASK has been an away force this season so far, winning 13 out of 15 games in a defeat and a draw. Rapid, on the other hand, lacks the usual home strength, which was also clear recently in the 0-1 against Hartberg and the historic 2-7 against Salzburg.
Text source: © LAOLA1.at/APA
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