Austria vs Salzburg by Gustav
Austria Vienna had another catastrophic season, leaving them without European position secured via league competition for the second consecutive season. At least, this time they improved their performances in Cup and managed to get though the finals so the team will perform in Europa League anyhow this time.
They were especially poor after the winter break, as the team paid the price of leaving striker Omer Damari to sign for Leipzig during that transfer window. Despite having decently talented squad, the team was weakened in offense and this could have only influenced the team in a worst way. Despite the change of the coach during the season, they failed to improve the results, as the team comes from a 1:1 draw against the current champions and today's rival Salzburg. They took the lead in 69th minute, but got quickly equalized, in a game which looked more of a puzzle as both sides wanted to keep their weapons for today's game. Offensive Spaniard David de Paula (22/4) was rested on Sunday evening and he should be fully prepared for this one. Danish defender Jens Stryger Larsen (19/1) is continuing to be sidelined injured, same as striker Ronivaldo who anyway didn't perform this season.
Salzburg, on the other side, once again had an easy walk in the domestic championship, while the team now has a chance to secure their first consecutive double title in case they win a Cup competition tonight as well. No doubt that they are by far the best team in the country, as the team managed to keep their dominance despite selling important players during winter.
Even so, they didn't experience any particular problem, especially after the team got excluded from European competitions - they stepped up and improved their home performances even further. In the last game of the season, when talking about championship, the team played with a several changes made in comparison to original squad, as they had only a 1:1 draw against Austria. Surely that the coach tried to rest couple of important players, but also to hide his intentions for the tonight's one. Midfielder Valentino Lazaro (25/4) got injured a week ago and will miss the finals, while constantly sidelined are right back Christian Schwegler (21/2), defensive midfielder Christoph Leitgeb (18/0) and striker Massimo Bruno (24/6) all being injured. Central midfielder Konrad Laimer (8/0) is with Austrian under 20 national team.
All I expect here from Salzburg is to show their touch of class and quality difference once again. They are clear favorites here and with both teams playing in their best possible available squads, I can see only one outcome and that's an easy victory for the current title holders.