The summer break is finally over! In Austria, the clubs start already on Friday in the new season. The first round of the ÖFB Cup heralds the season 2019/2020. On Friday, the national team SC / ESV Parndorf receives the reigning champion and defending champion Red Bull Salzburg in Heidebodenstadion. For both clubs, the cards are completely remixed. Parndorf had to recover in the summer break from a very brief and bitter descent into the Burgenland league. However, the first-round “Red Bull Salzburg” is anything but a good prerequisite to gain self-confidence for the resurgence. Also for the red bulls this summer brought a big change. In addition to numerous top performers, the successful coach Marco Rose left the Austrian series champion. Nevertheless, promotion to the next round of the cup competition is a must for Salzburg.
Before the game between Parndorf and Red Bull Salzburg, the roles and the odds are clearly divided. Alone the league difference leads to a starting situation that reminds of the fight between David and Goliath. The Burgenlaender are the absolute outsiders in this unequal duel. Even the chance that the national league rescues with a draw in extra time, see the bookmakers rather low. Salzburg are the absolute favorites in every Bundesliga match. Therefore, it is not surprising that even in this match, betting on an away win is anything but lucrative.
The SC / ESV Parndorf is for most football fans, who do not come from Burgenland, a blank slate. Last season, the hosts played in the Regionalliga Ost. Since there were four relegated last year, had Parndorf, as 13th of 16 teams, down in the Burgenland league. The descent had far-reaching consequences for the club from the east of Austria. Paul Hafner, who had already taken over the post of head coach in February, remained the coach of the team, however, left some players who wanted to stay in the regional league, the Parndorfer. Worth mentioning are Emir Dilic, Emil Harrer and Benjamin Knessl. Others of them changed within the Burgenland league. With the new entrants, the SC / ESV Parndorf held so far rather back. With Daniel Weinhandl the national league committed so far only one player of another club. Burgenlanders make a virtue out of their misery and increasingly rely on their own youth this summer. Seven young players were called from the second to the first team.
Especially the offensive cost the Parndorfern in the preseason the league. In the Regionalliga, the Burgenländer scored in 2018/19 in 30 games 43 goals. Only the other relegated people met even less frequently than the team of Paul Hafner. With Emir Dilic left the best scorer Parndorfs the club towards Leobendorf. The center forward was with 17 hits the undisputed goalkeeper of the hosts. Also Gerhard Karner, the second best scorer of the last season, was looking for a new challenge. David Dornhackl and Lukas Umprecht scored twice each in the past season for the Burgenländer and remain loyal to the club, as it currently looks, in the coming season. The fact that most of the top performers, the already not very dangerous attack, have left the team, encourages the match between Parndorf and Red Bull Salzburg the prognosis, which suggests a clear victory of the Bundesliga.
For the most part, the defensive department of Burgenland did a good job last season. 52 goals were scored by SC / ESV Parndorf in 30 regional league matches. Although the number sounds relatively high, this is a value, in addition to the team Wiener Linien showed only teams in the upper half of the table. In 20 games in the Regionalliga Christian Weidinger guarded the box Parndorfs. He received 34 goals and kept his white vest twice. His internal competitor Bernhard Pulker also left the club this summer. David Dornhackl is not only the best remaining scorer, but also since this summer, the captain of the Burgenlaender. The full-back has been an integral part of the team for twelve years. Together with defender Felix Wendelin, the full-back will try to make life difficult for the Salzburg attackers next Friday. Lukas Eisenbarth will miss the crash against the red bulls due to injury.
Red Bull Salzburg:
The red bulls from the city of Mozart are meanwhile not only a term for the Austrian football fans. In the last two years, the Austrian champions have also made themselves heard in the UEFA Europa League. With the Bundesliga and the ÖFB Cup Salzburg also grabbed the two most important national titles. This success quickly spread and the bulls were bought away from their key achievers.
First and foremost is coach Marco Rose, who will coach the foals from Mönchengladbach this season. His office was taken by the American Jesse Marsch. The 45-year-old man from Wisconsin previously worked as a head coach at the New York Red Bulls and as an assistant coach at RB Leipzig. Thus, the new Salzburg coach is perfectly familiar with the Red Bull philosophy. Munas Dabbur, Xaver Schlager, Stefan Lainer and Hannes Wolf are just some of the well-known Red Bull outings. A total of ten players left the Austrian champions. As in previous years, young talents in particular should close these gaps. Therefore, it is not surprising that so far only unknown players, who are 20 years or younger, have been committed. In preparation, the Salzburg were beaten only once. At home they lost to the CSKA Sofia 0: 1.
Also in the season 2018/19 Salzburg were superior to the entire Bundesliga. In Austria’s highest division, the red bulls hit 79 times. With Munas Dabbur the best scorer of the Austrian Bundesliga moved to Sevilla FC. The Israeli met for the champion 20 times in the Austrian Bundesliga. Smail Prevljak was the second-best scorer in Salzburg with ten goals last season. In the coming season, the Bosnian center forward will play a more important role. With Gulbrandsen, Wolf and Dabbur, the Mozart city dwellers also had their best assistants donated. Who will take the place of these top performers in the future, is currently unclear.
The bulls’ defense was the measure of all things in the preseason. Salzburg conceded only 27 goals in the last season. No other team could show such good statistics. Captain Andreas Ulmer was on the pitch in 28 of the 32 Bundesliga games for the Austrian champions. Despite his age of 33 years, the Austrian is an absolute asset in the squad of bulls. Cican Stankovic became the new number one and was also in 28 games on the court. He conceded 23 goals and held zero 11 times. Mahamadou Dembélé and Alexander Walke are injured due to injury next Friday.