A frustrating draw - and a real statement...

Analysis of ADMIRAL Bundesliga opener v Sturm Graz

17 shots – we haven't managed so many since the end of September (against basement club Austria Lustenau). The Expected Goals value indicates just how much the opportunities are worth, and it came in at 2.26. It wasn't since five months ago against Lustenau that we had such a richness of chances by that measure, either. Yet the big top-of-the-table clash against Sturm Graz yesterday ended up being drawn. Credit to Kiteishvili too for making the most of Sturm's single shot on goal.

Expected Goals

Although the 1-1 draw left a rather unfulfilled taste, there are so many positives we can take into the rest of the regular season - and also the champions' group.

Showing who's boss

It was, as the aforementioned stats indicate, a performance that created a great sense of expectation. Our boys dominated Sturm just as we had bottom-of-the-table Lustenau in the autumn - despite them being our closest title rivals and the clear number two in the country. It was not for nothing that coach Gerhard Struber, debutant Flavius Daniliuc and makeshift right-back Andi Ulmer expressed their satisfaction with the display.

It was quite the makeover performed by Gerhard Struber for our side - from the first XI in the ADMIRAL Bundesliga match in Vienna at the start of December, only two men started this time, with the back three that impressed against LASK last week also convincing against Sturm.

With the fact that our injury problems have eased in recent months, and the fantastic Fernando as well as brilliant ball winner Mamady Diambou have shown what they have to offer, the performance yesterday can definitely be seen as a warning to the rest of the league. If Gerhard Struber's charges continue to play like that and manage to convert more chances into goals, it could be spectacular!

Next Saturday at 17:00 CET we have another opportunity to show what we can do. We are heading back to Linz to take on newly promoted Blau-Weiß Linz.