the austrian bundesliga is sure to restart with a bang one way or another on friday as lask visit our red bulls. get set for Pressing against Pressing and attacking power against an artful defence - with the league lead at stake for the winners!
Guess who's back, back again? BuLi's back, tell a friend! The long winter break is over, and we're in the mood to crank Eminem out at full blast. The Tipico Bundesliga is going to be back with a bang. A sold out Red Bull Arena is sure to provide a fittingly noisy backdrop to what could be tense events on the pitch, as Friday's match could just hinge on the little details.
Flashback time - our meeting with Linz in September was a match like no other this Austrian Bundesliga season, as the two top sides went toe-to-toe in a great footballing battle. There were 11 exhausted warriors on either side at the end, but no winners. LASK almost condemned us to a defeat before we battled back and almost snatched a win in a 2-2 draw with a knackered Linz team.
The encounter showed that spirit and determination are all well and good, but class can play an important role too. This time who can hit the ground running better after the winter break could also be decisive. We can expect a stern test right from the start with LASK coach Valerien Ismael having little reason to change tack. LASK's 42 points mean they are just two points behind us, and have managed to keep their squad intact over the winter - even adding lightning fast Husein Balic from St. Pölten, who gives them another option on the flank or in attack. We have a good idea how they will line up at the back, with Trauner and Co having the best defensive figures in the league with just 16 goals conceded.
If they sound like a good team, it's because they truly are. LASK have not yet been able to beat us since their promotion to the top flight in 2017, however.
Following the departures of Erling Haaland and Takumi Minamino, it is time for the next wave of talents to step to the fore. Mergim Berisha and Karim Adeyemi are the young hopefuls, with Patson Daka and Hee Chan Hwang already having made a name for themselves around the world for their attacking abilities. If the big names aren't enough, a quick glance at our friendly matches before the season restarted should convince you we mean business. We won every single one of them, dominating all of them and being able to show great tactical flexibility. While a 3-5-2 did the business against Amstetten, Jesse might opt to try to combat the Linz pressing machine with a 4-4-2 with a diamond. We have shown this formation often allows us to take control of the centre of the pitch and win the ball in promising positions a lot.
That's all good in theory though, but in practice we need to be right at it from the very first minute in every position. Including at right-back, where we are set to welcome Patrick Farkas back into the side for his first league match since his stroke in October.
Not available due to injury are Antoine Bernede (shin), Rasmus Kristensen (thigh) and Philipp Köhn (ankle).
ladies' day at LASK Match
The match with Linz will see the annual club ladies' day take place. All women who come to the match on Friday will get a voucher in a brochure left on their seats that gives them free entrance to our next Austrian Bundesliga home match against SK Sturm Graz on 7 March.
match day info and side programme:
- Danger, high voltage! At the Bullshop (16:00–16:30 CET), and then later at the Fanpark (immediately before and after the match) the final few tickets for our UEFA Europa League match v Eintracht Frankfurt can be won.
- An event car at the EAST fan park with Danny Vianello from 17:30
- Sparkling wine reception for all women at the WEST forecourt of the Red Bull Arena. There will also be a giant roulette wheel there provided by Casino Salzburg.
- The Rainer band will perform before the match.
Jesse Marsch on …
… the big match on Friday:
We are going into the match with a really good feeling. We had a long break, of course, but we have used it well. We have made a good start to the cup, but now it's time to start the league again. We are going to face a superb team, and we have a lot of respect for LASK. We are going into the match with a lot of confidence though, and we want to play our usual game again. We will put everything we have into the match.
… the importance of the clash:
It is definitely a meeting of the two best teams in Austria. It is the last meeting before the points are divided. That's not the only reason it's important though, as it's also about showing that we are ready for the next phase of the season.
Zlatko Junuzovic on …
… the importance of restarting the season with a win in the cup in Amstetten:
A win always does you good, and it's important that you make a good start to the new year. The entire preparation period with the training camp in Doha was very good. The training was very intensive, with a great level of determination and concentration. We have a lot of quality and a lot of options. Now we need to continue our winning run. We need to try to restart just as we finished off before the break.
… what to expect in the match:
It'll be important that we understand the match and take on the challenge. Winning second balls will be important, and mentality is very important for that. There will be a lot of challenges again, just like in the last match, and it will be a fight for every inch. We need to be ready for that.
most recent clashes with LASK:
22.09.2019 LASK 2–2 FC Red Bull Salzburg
12.05.2019 FC Red Bull Salzburg 2–1 LASK
07.04.2019 LASK 0–2 FC Red Bull Salzburg
28.10.2018 LASK 3–3 FC Red Bull Salzburg