Thursday is all about the UEFA Europa League. Across Europe, the ball rolls in the second most important club competition! The first teams were able to fix the international wintering on the fourth matchday.
Several teams will secure a ticket for the second round in spring 2020! In the previously balanced group J, it could already come to (pre) decisions.
From a German perspective, this is extremely interesting due to the participation of the Europa League debutants from Wolfsberg and the German championship leader Borussia Mönchengladbach. This Thursday, Wolfsberg and Gladbach face each other in the Mercury Arena in direct duel in Graz!
All four teams are still in their own hands in this group. The league leaders are currently Turkish Erdogan club Basaksehir with seven points. Behind them are the two favorites Gladbach and AS Roma with five points (Gladbach is in front of the Italians in points equality due to the directly won comparison) and the Austrian underdog Wolfsberg is with four counters at the bottom.
The first time you never forget! With the wolves from the Lavanttal this statement is 100 per cent signed. The first match of the club’s history in the group stage of the UEFA Europa League will never be forgotten by the Austrian participant.
After the sensational victory, the underdog won a considerable draw at home against the Roma. The dream of international wintering, however, got a bitter damper in the doubles against the Turkish club Basaksehir. Both away and home game WAC lost without own goal.
With that, the team fell behind in Group J and probably have to win on Thursday to figure out a mini-chance. Even a draw could not be enough given the heavy guest appearance in the Olimpico of Rome.
It will be the first time in an international game, the 41-year-old interim coach Mohamed Sahli sitting on the bench. After Gerhard Struber could not resist the lure call from the English Championship (Barnsley FC), moved his former assistant coach in the front row.
His debut as head coach could not be better on the weekend. At SV Mattersburg Wolfsberg celebrated a clear 4: 1 victory. After 15 games in the basic round, the WAC has 30 counters on the credit side and can thus be found in third place on the table.
Sahli is aware of the difficult task, but also trusts that he can count on a well-rehearsed team. The path that has been embarked on is to be continued, but the Europa League debutants certainly do not lack self-confidence.
Due to a yellow card suspension Nemanja Rnic has to suspend his defense on Thursday. For him Manuel Gollner probably moves into central defense.
The foals of Marco Rose become the last minute heroes in the group stage. 90 + 1, 90 + 5 and 90 + 5 – the team would not have been able to do much more in the last three group matches. After the heavy 0: 4-Klatsche to the prelude against the WAC provided in each case very late goals for important counters in the fight for the international wintering. For the third time Gladbach is represented in the group phase (2012/13 and 2014/15).
In the first two participations Gladbach survived the group stage. With a victory against the Austrian representative, the Rose-Elf could open the door to K.o.-phase quite far.
The statistics speak for the foals from Gladbach. Borussia Mönchengladbach have never lost an away game in the UEFA Europa League group stage (two wins, six draws).
There should be no motivation for foals on Thursday. Manager Max Eberl confirmed on Sunday in a double pass that the German Bundesliga top tally champion T-shirt of the Carinthians had annoyed him and it should be enough motivation for the players to make this shame forgotten. Personnel World Champion Christoph Kramer will not be available due to a yellow card suspension.
An unexpected away defeat put it for the Rose proteges last weekend at the old forester. Against the Bundesliga promoted Union Berlin Gladbach had lost 2-0. Despite this defeat, the foals remain in first place, but feel the breath of Leipzig and Bayern Munich (only one point behind).