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Austria and Wydad International want to secure a place in the playoff – Football –

Austria and Wydad International want to secure a place in the playoff – Football –

Wolfsburg and Austria meet in Vienna
©APA/Gert Eggenberger

Austria and Wydad will meet in the penultimate round of the German League qualifying group in a direct duel for the chance to qualify for the European Cup. The winner will secure a starting spot in Saturday's playoff. A draw in Vienna could also be enough for both teams if Blue Weiss Linz loses to relegation candidate Austria Lustenau. Altach can shake off relegation fears with a single point ahead of WSG Tirol. Departure at 5:00 pm

Three clubs are competing for two places in the European Cup qualifiers. Vienna Austria (26 points) occupies first place, ahead of Wydad Casablanca (25) and newly promoted Blau-Weiss Linz (22). In the first match of the round, Wolfsburg is on an upward trend after its 1-0 win over Altach last week. However, coach Manfred Schmid gave Austria the “clear” role as favourites. “We definitely want to get a place in the European Cup,” the Wolfsburg coach noted. He brought Augustin Boakye back into the attack. He expects “a match in which two teams that can and want to play football meet.”

The Vienna Austria team gave few indications of their skills during their 2-0 defeat to bottom club Lustenau. In the last three matches, the Violets scored only one point. On Saturday, coach Michael Wimmer predicted “greed” for success from the start, as he emphasized as his mantra on Friday. In training this week, he saw a team that was “alive, pushing hard”. This also needs to be implemented. After performing against Lustenau with “disastrous dueling behaviour”, Wimmer also announced personnel changes.

Blau-Weiß Linz can keep the pressure on the top two with a home win over bottom club Austria Lustenau on Saturday. But the party is even more important for the home team, who desperately need to win the relegation battle. If Altaç loses the parallel match to WSG Tyrol, there will be an 'epilogue' to remain in the league next week at the end of the season. If this does not happen, Lustenau's move to the Second League will be closed.

It is true that Vorarlbergers, who have been down since the sixth round, have a positive record against Blau-Weiß Linz. There are two 0-0 wins and one 2-0 at home against the promoted team. Austria coach Andreas Heraf said: “Nothing stands in the way of victory.” The fact that his team has managed to improve offensively in recent weeks provides further optimism. “We finally rewarded ourselves with goals,” Haraf said. Of course, he now also has to do without Lukas Frederikas (ruptured ankle capsule) and Anderson (ruptured medial knee ligament), the season ending prematurely for both.

Vorarlberger wants to pay special attention to former Lustenau striker Ronivaldo, who also scored for Linz in a 3-2 win over WSG the previous week. This was the third consecutive victory for Upper Austria. According to Blue and White coach Gerald Scheppelhner, a lot of work is needed to maintain the chance of reaching the top two. “A very difficult match awaits us away from home,” said the BW coach. Austria Lustenau will put everything in the balance to make the final against Altach possible. “We want to create the conditions to win in Linz so that we still have a chance to play in a play-off against Austria (Vienna).” Fabio Strauss is absent from Linz due to suspension.

SCR Altach can happily forego the final relegation play-off against Lustenau. With a point against WSG Tirol, the Rheindörflers will be free of all early concerns, and that is exactly coach Joachim Standqvist's goal. “The team knows what they have been exposed to, we have had a good week of training, we will fight and fight until the last shirt we have and try to achieve our goal,” Standqvist declared. Fans know too. About 1,000 fans will accompany the team to Innsbruck, some on a specially organized special train.

Standfest tried to emphasize the positive side of Tivoli's parts department. “It's games like this that make you a footballer. These are the games you remember for the rest of your life.” The coach expects stiff resistance from WSG, even if the Tyrolean side is neither against relegation nor about a place in the European Cup.

But for WSG, the match has a particularly emotional side, as it is the last home game under long-serving coach Thomas Silberberger, who will leave at the end of the season after eleven years. However, the 50-year-old is completely focused on sports. “We are aware of the situation at the beginning, but both teams have 30 rounds to ensure they stay in the league, we are only looking at ourselves,” Silberberger said.