In a few weeks, the World Cup kicks off in Qatar. The attention of the majority of fans and sports experts is focused on this event. However, the football life in Europe is not limited to the World Cup. In the European championships, the break has not come yet, the teams are fighting fiercely in every match. The Austrian Championship is no exception to the rule, here the main struggle is for a place in the top five.
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Austria: Bundesliga on the rise
It’s no secret that football is leveling off. Among European teams today it is difficult to find whipping boys, and Austrian, Swiss or Greek clubs often play successfully in the group stages of European competitions, and there are some successes at the playoff stage.
The Austrian Bundesliga has been dominated by one team in recent seasons – Red Bull Salzburg. For the past nine seasons in a row, the “red bulls” have not allowed anyone to the championship title. Therefore, our article is devoted not so much to the contenders for the title, but to the teams fighting for the right to represent Austria in the European arena. Based on the results of 13 rounds of the championship, we can already talk about certain trends.
As already mentioned. “red bulls” for the last nine seasons have consistently become the champion of the country. And in this championship, Salzburg confidently leads the standings, and performs well in the group stage of the Champions League, still retaining a chance of reaching the playoffs. During the summer off-season, the club successfully worked on the transfer market, selling its players for more than €92 million. To replace the departed leaders, defensive midfielder Lukas Gurna-Dua, defender Strahinja Pavlovic and forward Fernando were acquired. Bookmakers estimate the chances of winning the championship with a probability of 1 to 1.22.
One of the oldest Austrian teams, in recent years has not proven itself. However, the current season for Graz is developing quite successfully, in the standings the team takes second place, 5 points behind the leader and having a game in hand. Sturm also practically solved the problem of reaching the playoffs in the Europa League. As it turned out, the sale of the team leader (Rasmus Hoylund went to Atalanta for €17 million) did not affect the team’s performance. According to experts, this season Sturm can claim the champion title: odds are 1 to 6.
The greatest success of the team from Linz can be considered reaching the final of the Austrian Cup in the 2020-2021 season. In the current championship, the “black and white” show a high-quality combination game and deservedly occupy the third line in the standings. It is unlikely that the coaching staff and the players themselves are seriously counting on the championship, but they are quite capable of competing for the European Cup zone. The chances of this are regarded as 1 to 2.8.
Today, the 32-time Austrian champion and two-time UEFA Cup winner is going through hard times. The team last became the champion back in 2008. Since then, there has been no particular success either on the domestic or foreign arena. In the off-season, Rapid was mainly strengthened by free agents. Bookmakers are predicting “green-white” hitting the top five with a coefficient of 1 to 5.
Another legend of Austrian football, going through hard times. Financial difficulties have also been added to the club’s playing problems. The team failed to sell a single player and failed in the Conference League. Still, bookies hope that a club with such a glorious history will remain at the top of the standings. The coefficient for participation in European competitions is 1 to 9.