by Bulldog Drummond
Tonight we are away to Rapid Wien, kick off at the singularly bizarre time of 1755 GMT.
It is normal with these previews for newspapers and websites imperiously to headline that “All you need to know” and then tell you the date, time and TV channel. I would never wish it to be thought that I have any idea what you personally need to know hence the title of this little piece. I’ll try and put down in a couple of articles what I’ve found out in the hope that it is of interest.
As far as I can tell the Austrian League had no summer break at all, and once the league last season had been resumed they finished off those games and moved straight into the new season.
The League in Austria plays 22 games at which point Rapid were third, eight points behind Red Bull Salzburg who under the constitution have to win stuff each year because otherwise the trophy engraver would get confused.
At that point the league is re-arranged the points obtained during the first part of the season are halved (and rounded down) before the start of the playoff league. (Honest I am not making that up). Rapid Wien started third with 20 points, and off they went again the final table reading
|1||Red Bull Salzburg||32||22||8||2||110||34||+76||50|
As a result of that all the clubs qualified for something European ranging from Red Bull qualifying for the Champions League play off round, down to Hertberg qualifying for the Europa League play off final.
OK I’m glad that is now clear. Now please pay close attention.
Rapid Wien qualified for the Champions League second qualifying round, where they lost to Gent and so dropped into the Europa.
Here are their last six games
|Date||Competition||Home team||Score||Away team|
|11/09/20||League||Rapid Wien||4 – 1||Admira|
|15/09/20||Champions League||Gent||2 – 1||Rapid Wien|
|19/09/20||League||Sturm Graz||1 – 1||Rapid Wien|
|26/09/20||League||St. Pölten||1 – 2||Rapid Wien|
|04/10/20||League||Rapid Wien||3 – 0||LASK|
|17/10/20||Cup||Wiener Neustadt||1 – 5||Rapid Wien|
Two home games played and both won easily.
The Austrian League is one of those many leagues in Europe, like Italy and Germany where it is set down in legislation that the same team has to win every year, and the latest league tables confirms that all is in order…
|1||Red Bull Salzburg||4||4||0||0||17||4||13||12|
|3||SKN St. Pölten||4||2||1||1||10||4||6||7|
This is all pretty much as expected and the league will undoubtedly follow its correct pre-ordained course.
What I don’t have is enough data to know if the Austrian League has been following the trend of home and away bias changing as a result of the lack of crowds. Hopefully yes, to give us a bigger chance tonight, but as noted it hasn’t happened in the opening games this season.
Last season as you may recall we started off well with a 4-0 and 3-0 victory but then it went a bit wrong, and the match on 24 October against Vitória Guimarães most certainly did not go according to expectations. Then it got worse…
|19 Sep 2019||Eintracht Frankfurt v Arsenal||W||0-3||Group stage 1|
|03 Oct 2019||Arsenal v Standard Liège||W||4-0||Group stage 2|
|24 Oct 2019||Arsenal v Vitória Guimarães||W||3-2||Group stage 3|
|06 Nov 2019||Vitória Guimarães v Arsenal||D||1-1||Group stage 4|
|28 Nov 2019||Arsenal v Eintracht Frankfurt||L||1-2||Group stage 5|
|12 Dec 2019||Standard Liège v Arsenal||D||2-2||Group stage 6|
|20 Feb 2020||Olympiakos v Arsenal||W||0-1||Knock out 32|
|27 Feb 2020||Arsenal v Olympiakos||L||1-2||Knock out 32|
At the end of the group games the table read…
|4||Vitória de Guimarães||6||1||2||3||7||10||−3||5|
Now of course we are under new management and this is the new team’s chance to shine.
The other two teams in our group are Molde and Dundalk. Molde is in pot 3 and Dundalk in pot 4, with Arsenal as ever in pot 1, meaning we are the top seeded team of the group. The top two teams from the group go through to the knock out rounds after Christmas as ever (but you knew that).
Certainly last season after that flying start beating Frankfurt and Standard Liege so easily there were hopes that we would fly through the whole process and have the group stage won after four straight wins in the opening four games, but it was then that everything seemed to go wrong for the club, leading of course to a temporary manager and another managerial change.
The other teams in pots one and two from England are, with their Uefa co-efficient…
Was that all you need to know? If not, don’t worry, I’ve got some more for the next article…