After the World Cup playoff is before the Bundesliga. The ball in the home stadiums is rolling again. There are three games in the qualifying group in the Bundesliga. The Upper Austria derby between LASK and SV Ried is particularly explosive. It’s not just about supremacy in Upper Austria, but above all about first place in the qualifying group. The people of Linz are currently in the lead with 16 points – two points behind the Innviertler are lurking in second place. With a home win, the “athletes” could set themselves apart from their rivals in Rieder.
If there is according to the statistics, then no clear favorite emerges. In the two previous duels of the season, both teams celebrated 1-0 home wins. In the upper house, LASK and Ried met a total of 44 times, the Innviertel team won 17 times, and the people of Linz celebrated 15 successes. In the last eight Bundesliga matches there was only one defeat (0:1 at WAC on March 6th), the last home defeat even dates from October 24th (0:1 against Altach).
“I think it must be LASK’s claim to be dominant in front of a home crowd. You can say that we are the favorites,” said LASK coach Andreas Wieland confidently, without wanting to underestimate Rieder. “Both teams have aspirations to play at the top of this group. We are preparing for a tough fight.”
Apart from the successes in the cup, Rieder hasn’t been able to celebrate much this year. The Ibertsberger team started the qualifying group with two defeats against Admira and Altach. “For the derby we need a ‘now more than ever’ mentality. This is an extremely important game for us, for the club, for the fans and for the city. Everyone has to give 110 percent so that we can take three points with us,” emphasized SVR goalkeeper Samuel Sahin-Radlinger.
The start under Ludovic Magnin did not go according to plan. Damir Canadi’s successor conceded four defeats at the start of the spring season. But with the draw against Hartberg (0-0) and the win at SV Ried (2-1), SCR Altach has stabilized. They want to continue the positive trend against Admira. They are out for revenge against the people from the south of town. That was definitely the defeat we had to grapple with the longest. Simply because of all the accompanying circumstances and how it came about,” said the Swiss with regard to the 0: 2 in February. “There’s still an outstanding bill.”
Admira around trainer Andreas Herzog would like to repeat the success of February 26th: “We are well prepared, we won here a few weeks ago. The boys have to appear with a certain looseness again,” demanded Admire-Coach Andreas Herzog. Also in October in front of a home crowd, the Admire by the way, won 2-0. The ÖFB record team player did not expect a sure-fire success. “It will be a very intense and competitive game,” said the ex-national player.
What do Hartberg and WSG Tirol have in common? Both teams have yet to win in the qualifying group. That should change today, Saturday at 5 p.m. The Watteners are missing a point on the tenth-placed TSV, which also wants to score points against relegation. The situation in the qualifying group could hardly be tighter. “The team is dying to rehabilitate itself from the defeat against Wattens and thus take a step forward in the table,” said TSV coach Klaus Schmidt.
Schmidt is about to play his third game in charge of Hartberger. Now he’s hot for his first win. If that succeeds, the Oststeirer could, assuming a complete success from Ried at LASK, catch up with the leader of the qualification group in terms of points. If they lose, Altach at the bottom could make the connection to TSV. “For this it will be necessary that we continue to act defensively as consistently as in the last rounds,” emphasized Schmidt
WSG Tirol recently got under the wheels at LASK with 0: 6, before a 0: 0 against Admira followed. Silberberger saw a “courageous” appearance that didn’t reward you, that should be made up for against Hartberg – and like Hartberg you haven’t scored in the second phase of the season yet. “But we know that the grapes in Hartberg hang high. The team knows what is at stake. We are ready.”