Preview: Liefering Begin 2020/21 2. Liga Season at Home to Rapid Vienna II

Just over five weeks since the 2019/20 2. Liga came to a halt and around three weeks since the squad helped Red Bull Salzburg reach the UEFA Youth League semi-finals, Liefering return to competitive action on Sunday as they welcome newly-promoted Rapid Vienna II to the DAS.GOLDBERG Stadion.

Due to the backlog of matches caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resumption of the UEFA Youth League in August, Liefering have had little recuperation time and preparation for the new season, with no publicly known friendlies taking place. Fortunately, the customary adaption period at the start of the season is not required as the squad has largely remained the same, except from the notable departures of Tobias Anselm, Peter Pokorný, and Luis Phelipe, thanks to a quiet summer for Red Bull Salzburg.

Bo Svensson and his team will undoubtedly want to build on the successes of last season and improve on an impressive third place finish, which was helped by the joint best home record in the league with champions Ried, as well as an emphatic run of form that saw them lose just once in the last 15 matches of the campaign. However, this weekend’s opposition are no pushovers on the road.

Before the divisions below the 2. Liga had their seasons voided in March due to the pandemic, Rapid Vienna II had the best away record in the Regionalliga Ost and managed to accumulate 18 point in eight matches, winning five and drawing three while finding the net 18 times (2.25 per game) and conceding just seven.

Despite this, the team can considers itself fortunate to be competing in the 2. Liga as there was supposed to be no promotion or relegation in the lower leagues last season. Rapid placed second in the league, five points behind Marchfeld Donauauen, but were awarded a place in the second division instead of Tirol, who avoided the drop from the Bundesliga because of Mattersburg’s insolvency, for financial reasons and the fact Sturm Graz recently entered a cooperation with Kapfenberg, which prevent their second team’s ascent.

Even though the squad remained near enough the same, there will be a couple of key absentees as Luka Sučić played the full match in Red Bull Salzburg’s astonishing 10-0 ÖFB Cup win over Schwarz-Weiß Bregenz on Wednesday, while Junior Adamu, Amar Dedić, and Nicolas Seiwald came off the bench. It remains to be seen if new addition, Mamadou Sangaré, will make his debut this weekend as he is currently not included in the squad list on the 2. Liga website.

Match Information

Date: Sunday, September 11, 2020

Kick-off: 12:30 (CET) | 06:30 (ET)

Venue: DAS.GOLDBERG Stadion

Referee: Stefan Ebner

Broadcasting: ORF Sport + (Austria), Laola1 (international)

Current Form

Liefering

Austria Lustenau 4-2 (H)* | Ried 2-2 (A)* | Grazer AK 5-2 (H)* | Juniors OÖ 0-5 (A)* | Vorwärts Steyr 0-3 (A)*

Rapid Vienna II

Neusield 1919 2-2 (A)* | Donaufeld 2-2 (A) | Schwechat 0-2 (A) | First Vienna 0-3 (A) | Oberganserndorf 4-1 (H)

*2019/20

Team News

Liefering

Injured: Youba Diarra (cruciate ligament), Csaba Bukta (shoulder)

Absent: Luka Sučić (first team), Nicolas Seiwald (first team), Amar Dedić (first team), Junior Adamu (first team)

Rapid Vienna II

Injured: Dalibor Velimirovic (cruciate ligament)

Predicted Line-ups

Liefering

Antosch – Wallison, Affengruber, Okoh, Gazibegović – Major, Aigner, Stosic- Kjaergaard – Šeško, Prass. (4-3-1-2)

Rapid Vienna II

Haberl – Hajdari, Gobara, Dijakovic, Mooreman – Kocyigit, Bosnjak, Schuster – Strunz, Funschofer, Kokollari. (4-3-3)

Score Prediction

Liefering 2-0 Rapid Vienna II

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