The question of role distribution between Rapid and Red Bull Salzburg before the Bundesliga match to be played on Saturday is not only unnecessary when looking at the table. Vienna-Hütteldorf’s sixth-place team has not won any of its last 20 matches against the leaders. “But statistics are there to be broken,” emphasized Rapids General Manager Sport Markus Katzer.
Coach Robert Klauß was similarly calm about the Green-Whites’ poor performance against the series champions. “I’m not a fan of looking too far ahead and drawing conclusions from that. The current situation is always important and we’re in a good position.”
Optimism has increased in the Green-Whites, who defeated Blau-Weiß Linz 1-0 and WSG Tirol 2-1, since Klauss took office. The German pilot reported that he received extremely positive impressions from the recent training sessions. “Salzburg are probably the toughest possible opponent in terms of possession. However, I believe we can offer one or two good solutions. It depends on how we play our game on the field. Both open blades were allowed to work,” warned Klauss.
The 39-year-old was with RB Leipzig from 2010 to 2020, serving as assistant coach of the pros in the last two years. “But I have very little connection with Salzburg, the last time I was there was six years ago and I couldn’t even find my way to the training centre. So this is not a special match for me. This is just a special match because this is the last game I played on my home ground. In one year we competed against the league leaders and we have a chance to get a great result,” said Klauß.
He has a good relationship with former Salzburg sporting director Christoph Freund, knows Salzburg coach Gerhard Struber “a little bit” and knows Stefan Ilsanker, son of goalkeeper coach Herbert Ilsanker, very well – but that’s about it. “Cross-connections with Salzburg are not as big as they seem.”
You don’t necessarily have to have worked in a club sponsored by the company to have knowledge about Red Bull football. “Decoding the code is not that difficult. Implementing it in the field is the hard part,” Klauß explained. “There are solutions that look good on the board, but you also have to bring them to the field.”
Klauss sees failures at Salzburg and some coordination issues in the back four due to the double workload. “The question is whether we can take advantage of that.” Still, the Mozartstadters are “individually the best team in the league and deservedly first”.
Klauß does not think much about the fight for a place in the championship group. “Everything is completely in our hands. The important thing now is the match against Salzburg, then we will see what happens in February. I do not see this as a race for sixth place yet. We just want to get points.” “
The former Nuremberg coach can count on almost his entire squad. There is only a problem in the central defense because Nenad Cvetkovic (injured), Terence Kongolo (suspended) and Maximilian Hofmann (not yet ready for the match due to illness) are not ready to play. Therefore, it is likely that Michael Sollbauer, who was recently suspended from the team, will get a chance. “He is a very valuable player, who never takes the blame and deserves to train very well,” said 33-year-old Klauß.
Maurits Kjaergaard (shoulder), Oumar Solet (thigh) and Aleksa Terzic (adductor) will definitely not be in the squad in Salzburg. Strahinja Pavlovic’s condition (thigh problem) is still open. Bryan Okoh and Fernando returned to team training.
Struber “expects a special task because we expect a lot of resistance at various levels. For our young team, such matches are an important and exciting part of a learning process that we have successfully shaped and can improve our away series.” note: we want to continue 23 away matches without defeat.” The player from Salzburg, whose team is two points ahead of Sturm Graz and fighting to survive the winter against Benfica Lisbon in the European Cup in the Champions League on Tuesday, is the league leader. He added that they wanted to pass it as.
As of Thursday, more than 19,000 tickets had been sold for the game at Allianz Stadium. Also expected to be at the stadium is Rapid legend Antonin Panenka, who will be honored on his 75th birthday.