Salzburg v LASK
The Austrian Bundesliga returns from the international break with a bang as league leaders Red Bull Salzburg take on closest challengers LASK in a mouth-watering, table-topping clash. The Linzers were the pacesetters earlier on in the season but have dropped points in each of their last three matches, allowing Salzburg to leapfrog them at the top of the table and restore the traditional order.
Fourteen players in Matthias Jaissle’s squad were away with their countries over the international break – but Dijon Kameri (Austria U19s) and Noah Okafor (Switzerland) had to withdraw with shoulder/tooth problems and remain doubtful, while back-up goalie Nico Mantl and captain Andreas Ulmer are ill. LASK, meanwhile, are without fresh injuries but remain without the defensive duo of Philipp Wiesinger and Yannis Letard, who are out long-term. Star striker Marin Ljubicic is back after serving a suspension.
LASK have struggled in the Croat’s absence, taking two points from the three matches he missed following an almost flawless start to the campaign. His return will be a boost – after all, he has averaged a goal every 71 minutes this season – but it is unlikely to make a tangible difference against a Salzburg side that has taken 19 points from their last seven league games and won each of the last five meetings between the teams at this stadium – by a combined score of 14-4. We’re firmly backing the Red Bulls to win this one.
Austria Lustenau v Wolfsberg
Like some of the promoted clubs that preceded them – the likes of LASK, Hartberg and Austria Klagenfurt spring to mind – Austria Lustenau have made a strong start on their return to the top flight and sit in fifth place on 12 points. One place and one point behind them are next opponents Wolfsberg, who had a shocking start to the campaign by their own recent standards but moved into the top six for the first time all season with a victory over Hartberg last time out.
Austria Lustenau, for their part, suffered a defeat at the hands of Sturm Graz that saw Anderson sent off in the dying embers. The Brazilian right-back will miss this match through suspension, while the midfield duo of Daniel Tiefenbach and Michael Cheukoua are still out long-term. Opponents Wolfsberg have an almost clean bill of health, with left-back Jonathan Scherzer the only doubt with a foot injury.
The Vorarlbergers are unbeaten this season in the six matches in which they have found the net (W3 D3) but have lost all three in which they drew a blank. We do think they will score – they have only failed to do so at home to perennial champions Salzburg this term – but whether that will be enough to get a result against a resurgent Wolfsberg remains to be seen. Instead, we think that both teams to score is the safest bet: neither club has kept a single clean sheet in their last five outings.
Hartberg v Austria Klagenfurt
East Styrian side Hartberg come into this clash off the back of a rotten run which has seen them win just once in their last eight games, and suffer an ignominious cup exit at the hands of lower league opposition. Sunday’s opponents Austria Klagenfurt have been one of the league’s most exciting teams, scoring – and conceding – freely on their way to their current seventh place, keeping just one clean sheet along the way.
Veteran forward Markus Pink has found his shooting boots again this season for Klagenfurt, scoring an impressive seven goals in nine games with some very composed and opportune finishes. Defender Nicolas Wimmer has not only marshalled the back line well, but also popped up with a few vital goals and assists himself, helping the team gain some unlikely points. Coach Peter Pacult can call upon a full team of his regular starters after the international break, and it’s the continued absence of Hartberg left back Christian Klem which will have an affect on the line-ups.
Hartberg’s only two victories this season have both come at home, and now that club legend Dario Tadic has taken over as top scorer, coach Klaus Schmidt will see this game as a real chance to pick up points and start to push up the table, what with the overall inconsistency of their opponents. We think Klagenfurt will be a tough proposition to beat on Sunday though and given their extraordinary scoring record in recent away games (13 in three) we feel that there will be goals from Klagenfurt at the Profertil Arena, but don’t discount the hosts from getting in on the action too and running this one close!
Austria Vienna v Sturm Graz
One of the biggest games of the weekend takes place in the south of the capital at the Generali Arena, as fourth placed Austria play Sturm, the team directly above them in the table, with the Violets looking to make it three home wins in succession against the Graz outfit.
Austria went into the international break after a 3-0 home win over Ried, and throughout August and September they scored at least twice in every league game. Matthias Braunöder has caught the eye with some fantastic technical play in the area, Dominik Fitz is on fine form, and Andreas Gruber is back to his free flowing best, all of which should be enough to overcome the absence of long-term injury sufferer Marko Raguz.
Sturm have lost just once this season, but with keeper Siebenhandl questionable, there could be a chance for reserve keeper Schützenauer to get some minutes, which could be seen as a weakening at the back. Many will see the likely absence of Emanuel Emegha as a big blow to Sturm, but all-round forward Jakob Jantscher could finally return after a long lay-off, and he’ll be raring to go. Sturm haven’t been overly reliant on any one player for goals this season either, with ten scorers so far. Slovenian midfielder Tomi Horvat seems to have settled in well in the centre, and he should be able to create chances for whoever starts in front of him, as well as posing a set piece danger himself.
Austria have caused Sturm serious problems at home in recent games, but we think Sturm have enough quality and nous to get themselves on the score sheet at least once as well on Sunday, in what could be quite a fiery encounter in a sold-out stadium!
Written by an Andy verified content writer
18+ please gamble responsibly.
Back the Four and Five Star Selections as an Accumulator on Betfair ⬇️
*Bet link only appears when accessing from mobile.
Haven’t got a Betfair account? You’re in luck…
Sign up to Betfair and get a full refund if your first bet loses. Grab an account through the offer below and place £20 on the 5/1 Austrian Bundesliga Best Bets Accumulator. Here are the two possible outcomes:
Or you get your £20 stake back as cash