On Sunday, Austria Wien will make their first guest appearance at the newly opened LASK Arena. While the Linz side will finish the season in third place, the Violets want to defend their fourth place. Coach Michael Wimmer expects an opponent who will not sit back and is looking forward to loud violet support.
1-1 at home, 2-2 away, 2-2 at home - that's the record against LASK so far this season. The Linz side has never played a club to a draw four times in the same season in Bundesliga history, while Austria drew all four duels only in 2013/14 against SV Ried and in 2021/22 in the derby.
While LASK could probably live with the point, a win would be worth a lot for Michael Wimmer's team, as it would also put them in fourth place before the final home game against Salzburg next Saturday (3 June, 17:00).
On Sunday, the best offensive team with 16 goals (together with Sturm Graz) will face the second-best defence in the champions' group with only seven goals conceded (behind Salzburg with six). Also exciting: LASK had 174 plays with at least ten passes in the current season and thus the most of this kind; Austria Wien follows directly behind with 162 such plays. In addition, only Salzburg (57%) have a greater share of possession than the Linzers (54%) and the Veilchen (53%).
Coach Michael Wimmer: "A look at the goal statistics shows on the one hand that we play well forward and also create a lot of chances, but on the other hand also that we will need these chances against LASK, because they only allow a few. It will be important that we ourselves are stable in defence and go onto the pitch with the right attitude. LASK is a really good team that will definitely not sit back and play with full power. Our goal is a win and for that we will need our fans again. When I hear how many will make their way to Linz (over 1,600 tickets have been sold for the Austria sector, note), the anticipation rises a little more. In Klagenfurt, our fans had the energy that we unfortunately didn't have in the first half. They pushed us there and that's exactly what we'll need again on Sunday against a strong opponent."
Sporting director Manuel Ortlechner: "There are still two rounds to play, we are in fourth place and want to defend it. We need a really good energy on the pitch in Linz and our team can look forward to mega support again. We showed in our first home game in the championship group that we can pose LASK problems, but it's also clear that we're facing a top team and therefore need a top performance to take home three points."
Muharem Husković and Florian Wustinger were recently able to take part in parts of the team training: "It's very pleasing that Muki and Flo can be on the pitch with the team again, that also gives all the players extra energy again." Like Ziad El Sheiwi and Marko Raguž, however, they are still not an option and even for Lucas Galvão, who is back in full team training, Sunday's game comes too soon. "Apart from that, we can draw from the full squad," said Wimmer.