After starting 2:2 draw at home against Mattersburg in the season opener, players of Rapid improved a lot and celebrated quite ease 1:4 victory on the road against St Polten last weekend. They entered the game very strongly and managed to take the double lead just before the halftime whistle.
Goals were scored by Murg in 37th and Kuen in 42nd minute, taking the lead more than deservedly. Hosts managed to reduce the deficit in 69th minute via Schutz, while the guests managed to seal the victory with two goals in last ten minutes, via an own goal in 81st minute and a goal from Keles in first minute of additional time. The team stands at second position now, having two points less than leaders from Sturm Graz.
Central defender Christopher Dibon is injured, same as midfielders Ivan Mocinic, Philipp Malicsek and Philipp Schonesberger and striker Giorgi Kvilitaia, all five without performing so far in the season anyway.
Union Berlin did quite well in the season opener when the team managed to take all three points away from home against Ingolstadt with a 1:0 victory. Only goal was scored in 59th minute via Trimmel, in quite a balanced game that could have ended differently on some other day.
However, players of Union Berlin showed plenty of determination during their play and looked especially well once they took over the lead, standing pretty well in the defense. After last season when they lose the promotion for few points only, they continued having same ambitions and surely will be boosted with the first victory. They just continued where they stopped during friendly matches, since the team had six victories out of six matches (winning over Wolfsberger, Birmingham and QPR too).
Team from Berlin should only miss offensive midfielder Akaki Gogia (no performance so far in the season).
Altach had to start their season much earlier than most of Austrian and European sides, as the team had to start from first qualifying round of Europa League, since they firstly progressed over Gerogian side Chikhura by taking a narrow 1:0 victory on the road and drawing 1:1 at home, which was enough for the side to have a second round game against side from Belarus Brest.
After a 1:1 draw at home against Brest, they convincingly won on the road 3:0, showing class difference thanks to goals from Ngamaleu, Nutz and Netzer. Finally, they took a 1:1 draw in the first leg against Gent, taking the lead and surprising their opponent thanks to a goal in fifth minute via Ngwat-Mahop. It was overall a very open game, but must be said that the hosts had more of the ball possession and looked as a better side, finally managing to leverl up in 76th minute via Coulibaly. They also come from a 4:1 defeat on the road to Admira in second round of Bundesliga, with the coach changing the team a bit.
Goalkeeper Lukse (0/0) is continuing to be injured, same as midfielder Prokopic (0/0). Doubtful are defender Lienhart (1/0) and forward Ngwat-Mahop (0/0).
Basaksehir surprised a bit in the first leg as the Turkish side took a draw in a 3:3 game and are now awaiting the re-match game being favorites to progress to the play-off round for Champions League group stage. After disappointing start and being 2:0 down in the scoreline in the first halftime, Turkish side showed much more competitive spirit in the repetition.
Their performance was much better, way more concrete in attack and they deservedly got a positive result and even managed to revert the scoreline thanks to goals from Mossoro in 59th, Elia in 62nd and Mossoro again in 74th minute, but lack of concentration cost them and didn’t manage to pull out a victory since the hosts leveled up five minutes later. During the preparation period, Basaksehir won over Triglav and drew to Vitesse while their league is set to start in two weeks.
Midfielder Aurelien Chedjou (signed from Galatasaray this Summer) remains doubtful with a back injury.
After disappointing start and a 1:2 defeat in front of own fans against Nordsjaelland, players of Odense bounced back with much better performance in the second round when the team won on the road against newly promoted Helsingor last Monday evening with a 2:0 result. They were simply much more concrete, looked much more fluid in the midfield and generally way more mature on the field than their opponents were.
They took the lead in 24th minute via Jacobsen, stood well in the defense and weren’t threatened much, while the same player doubled up their lead in 54th minute, without having much of trouble reaching the victory till the end. Odense is surely now looking for another good performance as they surely want to reach the European exit this season and not to repeat mistakes from previous year. Home team should have no real injury worries ahead of this match.
Arka Gdynia actually didn’t have good season in the Ekstraklasa at all, as the team barely escaped the relegation in last round when they managed to win over Zaglebie on the road and end up the season with two points more than relegating placed Leczna, however they were a bit lucky, but also had good results in domestic Cup competition where they earned the European exit.
They won the Cup’s finale game against Lech Poznan celebrating 1:2 victory after extra time played back early in May – must be said that they played tactically well, but also that the players of Lech Poznan were much better and it simply wasn’t their day in the offensive part of the game. This season was opened in the best possible way, as the team won Super Cup game winning after penalties against Legia, once again being inferior but using their chances well. Esktraklasa started for them with a victory over Slask 2:0 at home and a point taken against newly promoted Sandecja last weekend in a goalless draw.
Midfielder Dominik Hofbauer (25/2 in previous season) and defender Antoni Lukasiwicz (26/1 in previous season) won’t be playing here due injuries.
Celtic didn’t have difficult task in the second qualifying round when the team won over Northern Irish side Linfield 6:0 on aggregate score, taking 2:0 victory away from home in the first leg and sealing the progress to the third round with convincing 4:0 victory last Wednesday evening.
They have opened the game in the best possible manner, with a goal in fourth minute by Sinclair already, being much more dominant during all ninety minutes, creating many chances and scoring three more in the second halftime, via Rogic in 48th, Sinclair again in 54th, while Armstrong sealed their victory in third minute of additional time. In between of two Champions League matches, they lost in friendly game against French side Lyon 0:4, but rested most of the important players and gave playing chance to more fringe ones. Their season is set to start in ten days, so the team is quite near to more competitive form.
In comparison to previous season, defender Boyata and forward Griffiths won’t be playing here, while doubtful are defender Svitachenko and forward Dembele.
Qarabag looked really well in second round against champions from Georgia Samtredia, as the side took highly convincing victory at home against them 5:0 in first leg, but also sealed the victory in second leg on the road with narrow 1:0 result. Only goal was scored in 22nd minute via Guerrier as the sides looked quite similar, however with the visitors staying somehow a bit better on the field, looking more mature and serious.
Team from Georgia had their chances as well, however were probably disappointed with the conceded goal and overall 6:0 result already after first third of the second leg. Qarabag looked very dominant in previous season, taking the champions crown with ten points more over second placed Gabala, but also taking the domestic Cup with a 2:0 result over the same opponent back in May. Midfielder Wilde-Donald Guerrier (Alanya), central defender Jakub Rzezniczak (Legia) and goalkeeper Anton Kanibolotsky (Shakhtar Donetsk) are biggest name that reinforced the club this Summer.
Dynamo Moscow had the thoughest possible opponent in the first round of Premier League, as the team hosted current champions from Spartak Moscow in a local derby game, but still managed to take a point from it in a 2:2 draw last Tuesday evening. It was generally quite a balanced game as the visitors looked better in the first halftime, but Dynamo responded well enough in the repetition.
Visitors took the lead in 29th minute via Promes and quickly doubled up the lead just three minutes later with a goal from Adriano, however as said, players of Dynamo were much more concrete in the second halftime and reduced the deficit in 53rd minute via Panchenko, to reach the equlizer a bit lucky, since it was in third minute of additional time via Tasheav, however needs to be said – it was deservedly after all.
Home team should be playing in 4-2-3-1 formation with Wanderson set as central striker, plus Ionov, Panchenko and Katrich most likely as offensive midfielders. Forward Fatos Beqiraj (1/0) has been struggling with a muscle injury and is doubtful for this one. Central defender Vitali Djakov has left the club to join Turkish side Sivasspor last week.
Krasnodar surprised many last weekend when the team managed to take a narrow victory away to Rubin Kazan following their 1:2 victory on Sunday evening. They had a great first halftime taking the double lead thanks to two goals from Laborde, scored in 17th and 33th minute, taking their lead deservedly and using their chances more than well.
Hosts tried to react in the second halftime and managed to reduce the deficit in 72nd minute via Lestienne, however without being able to make that extra push towards the equalizer. Krasnodar did simply what was needed in order to get the victory, being perfectly satisfied with the lead taken in first halftime and keeping the right score till the end.