As league leaders, Sturm Graz will play at home to Hartberg on Saturday (5pm). The Styrian derby is one of the highlights of the 11th round of the Bundesliga, with fourth-placed TSV hosting the autumn surprise. Red Bull Salzburg, second in the standings, wants to return to its old strength at home to LASK after losing two matches at home. Austria Lustenau, at the bottom of the standings, hopes to make a radical change with newly promoted Blau-Weiss Linz.
“An all-time top match awaits us against the best Hartberg team since they were in the Bundesliga,” predicted Sturm coach Christian Elzer ahead of the Styrian derby. The international break, during which eight players were with their under-21 national teams, should not be an obstacle for Hartberger. “It’s an honor for Storm to have so many players with different national teams,” said Eletser, whose starting team beat second-tier side FAC 4-1 in a test. “It’s great that everyone is back healthy. We made extensive use of the international break.” . The turf has also been refurbished and the trainer said it was “top notch”.
For Hartberg coach Markus Schaub, Sturm has been considered a serious contender for the championship since this season. “The big step in development is that they actually managed to score points even with a less outstanding performance. This is a very dangerous development for the competition,” the former player stressed.
His team has also improved significantly over the past few months, going five games in a row unbeaten and achieving the best start to the season in the Council of Advisors. “Sturm has big ambitions, and we are equally ambitious,” Schaub emphasized. He demands “perpetual learning” from his forces. “Many teams have increasingly better and clearer strategies against us. Finding the answers is the obvious journey.”
Meanwhile, Red Bull Salzburg’s home match against LASK is being played under unusual circumstances. The series champions currently sit only second in the Bundesliga table and have also lost their last two matches in front of their home crowd. Coach Gerhard Struber said: “This is a situation we are not used to. Now we are doing everything we can to turn the tables and act in our usual way at home.”
“We have a big challenge ahead of us, but we are ready for it. We want to show courage in all phases of the match and bring our strength on the field to make things as difficult as possible for Salzburg. Our goal is there,” LASK coach Thomas Sageder expects. “To take something with you,” Sagider announced.
The situation in the Bundesliga is very uncomfortable for Astra Lustenau. With only two points from the first ten rounds, Vorarlberger are at the bottom of the standings, having lost all seven of their last matches in the tournament, six of them without scoring a goal. Now the trend should turn on Saturday away to newly promoted Blau-Weiß Linz.
According to coach Markus Mader, Lustenau’s international break has been put to good use. “And now we finally want to score points,” the 55-year-old said as his motto. However, Mader also showed great respect for the Upper Austrians. “It will be a difficult match against a strong competitor who recently scored a lot of points and beat Salzburg.”
Blau-Weiß-Linz coach Gerald Scheppelhner believes that Ländle faces “a kind of final. After the international break, Lustenau will go into the match well prepared. But we are also well prepared and want to orient ourselves towards mid-table. We have developed that for us.” “
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