Sturm Graz vs Rapid Wien by Gustav

Sturm entered the season in a really poor way as the only positive thing they did till now is progress to the next stage of Austrian Cup over amateur team. They already exited Europa League qualifying rounds losing in the second round to Breidablik with a 0:1 score at home, after a goalless draw in Iceland.

That exclusion was shocking, but the team continued with poor performances in domestic league too, losing at home 0:2 to Grodig last weekend in the second round. Doubt about their overall potential was increased after that defeat. Newly promoted Grodig simply knew what they want on the pitch and after several chances lost by Sturm, as they failed to capitalize on their opportunities created, they stayed with a goal behind in 79th minute. Never again got back into the game and conceded the second goal just a minute before the full time whistle. Coach Milanic has said that they have the quality and need to prove on pitch, while the bad thing is that everyone has little patience, although the improvement can't be overnight. Striker Djuricin (1/0) is seriously injured and will stay off the field for about two months, while midfielder Kaufmann continues to be out unready for the start of the season.

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Rapid is coming from a pretty successful trip to Greece last Thursday, as they earned a 1:1 draw against Asteras Tripolis in the third qualifying round for Europa League. They didn't impress with the performance and stayed behind in the score in 27th minute, just to equalize few minutes later from the penalty kick.

Next Thursday, they will have to show improved performance in order to stay in European competition as they were mostly limited to defense in the first leg, although they walked away with the positive result. A week ago they took advantage of numerical superiority as they won 4:0 over Neustadt, playing with a man more since 16th minute. Withing fifteen minutes (28th and 38th), they scored two goals adding two more in the replay. Beside the victory over Neustadt, Rapid didn't show much till now, getting a 2:2 draw in the first round match away to Wolfsberger. Central defender Dibon (2/0) got injured in Europa League game and will stay out for this game. While defensive midfielder Wydra (2/0) got injured against Neustadt. Striker Alar is out of action from the beginning of the season.

No matter how mediocre Rapid looked at the start of the season, it was still much more than Sturm showed us. They are coming in a much better form and can get the victory today against clueless in attack Sturm, but the match against Asteras should make everyone a bit more cautious.

Bet: Rapid (0) Asian handicap with Pinnacle Sports
 * Odds as of post published time and are subject to change.
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