Sunday, June 16, 2024

Prediction: Hartberg vs Austria Vienna

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions 26 May 2024

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Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 2/3

Bookmaker: Dachbet

Looking to finish off the job and book their Conference League play-off final ticket, Austria Vienna will travel to Hartberg on Tuesday night for their second-leg showdown.

Hartberg

Starting with the hosts, while Hartberg might have snatched a late consolation strike when they travelled to Vienna over the weekend, Markus Schoop’s men have a real job on their hands here. Although the Blues might have shocked many across Austria’s elite this season as they secured a top-half finish, the former Barnsley boss is calling on his squad to find some crucial stability. Including a 5-1 drumming at the hands of Salzburg on May 12th, Hartberg only registered a trio of wins from any of their final 12 Bundesliga appearances. Showing some extended defensive issues, Schoop’s side have also gained a reputation for their extended struggles on home soil. In fact, Tuesday’s hosts have lost four of their previous five showdowns at the Profertil Arena.

Team News

Still dealing with a long-term injury issue and not making a single appearance since back on January 20th, Hartberg will once again be without former Aris shot-stopper Fabian Ehmann on Tuesday night. Coming off the bench and bagging a consolation strike in Vienna over the weekend, 26-year-old Maximilian Entrup should be handed a full recall.

Impressing many among Austria’s elite this season, ex-Fulham starlet Ibane Bowat will once again partner Paul Komposch at the heart of Hartberg’s defence. Despite notching just a single goal over the past few months, former Barnsley man Dominik Frieser will join Entrup in the final third.

Austria Vienna

As for the visitors, although Austria Vienna might have found themselves at the heart of an extended struggle when opening May, the Violets have come roaring back in an eye-catching fashion. Claiming what could prove to be a crucial 2-1 victory on home soil over the weekend, Michael Wimmer’s men will be desperate to finish off the job here. Extending on their play-off adventure earlier in the month as they secured a 2-1 win away at Wolfsberger, the former Stuttgart coach has seen his squad win all of their previous three showdowns against Bundesliga opposition. Along with securing that first-leg victory on Saturday evening, Vienna will be excited by a rampant record against Tuesday’s hosts. In fact, Wimmer’s side have won eight of their last nine meetings – a run that stems all the way back to April 2021.

Team News

All still dealing with respective long-term injury issues, Austria Vienna will once again be without the trio of Ziad El Sheiwi, Marko Raguz and academy graduate Florian Wustinger on Tuesday night. Despite returning to Wimmer’s squad over the weekend, 21-year-old Muharem Huskovic will settle for a spot on the bench.

Converting from the penalty spot and now finding the net in all of his last three appearances, 24-year-old Dominik Fitz will spearhead Vienna’s charge here. Registering 11 Bundesliga assists this season, former Strum Graz man Andreas Gruber will join Fitz in the final third.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When Hartberg and Austria Vienna met for their first-leg showdown on Saturday evening, the Violets collected a 2-1 victory on home soil.
    • Vienna have won eight of their previous nine meetings against Tuesday’s hosts – a run that stems all the way back to April 2021.
    • Hartberg have lost four of their last five Bundesliga matchups at the Profertil Arena.
    • Likewise, the Blues have conceded 15 goals in those five consecutive matchups on home soil.
    • Austria Vienna have collected nine points from their last four Bundesliga visits to the Profertil Arena.

    Conclusion

    Claiming what could prove to be a crucial first-leg advantage on Saturday evening, Austria Vienna will be desperate to finish the job here. Finding their best form at a crucial time, they will be looking to cash in on a Hartberg squad that have continued to show a string of glaring issues on home soil. However, it should be noted, with the Blues seeing eight of their previous nine appearances finish with both teams finding the net, we are expecting a similar outcome in midweek.

    Verdict: Both teams to score

    Best Odds: 2/3

    Bookmaker: Dachbet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
    Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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