They may have won the title already, but Salzburg showed no signs of letting up when they continued to forge clear at the top last weekend, beating Rapid Vienna by four goals to one. Marco Rose’s men have been in fine scoring form this season, as they’ve scored for fun on route to another league title. After last weekend’s enjoyable afternoon away from home, the manager will be hoping his side can treat the home fans to one last high-scoring victory.
Mattersburg haven’t done too badly this season and they have secured some pleasing results against some of the more useful teams, though the campaign has ultimately ended in disappointment, with them failing to lay down a serious challenge for the European spots. What’s more, recent form hasn’t been too good as far as Sunday’s visitors are concerned, as they come into this match having won just one of their last six matches.
Realistically, Salzburg have nothing to play for at this point, though they will surely want to give their fans something to cheer about. Having deployed an attacking style throughout the season, the hosts are fancied to maintain their forward-thinking philosophy and get on the front foot against a Mattersburg side who, when push comes to shove, have often conceded goals.
What has been noticeable since Salzburg secured the title is the fact that they’ve played with more freedom all round. They’ve continued to thrive offensively, scoring 19 goals in their last five matches, though they’ve also started to lose touch defensively. Rose’s men have now conceded at least once in each of their last two, while they’ve kept just one clean sheet in their last five. If they continue to get forward on Sunday, which is highly likely, then they ought to score goals, but they may also come unstuck at the other end.
The visitors haven’t exactly scored goals on a regular basis, but they have done well against teams who leave space in behind, just as Salzburg will inevitably do. Their performance against Austria Vienna recently, where they won 3-2, was a perfect example. If Vienna can breach Mattersburg, then Salzburg should really flourish, though the visitors, who’ve now scored in all but one of their last eight on the road, can get competitive offensively.
At the end of the day, there should be an element of freedom to the play of both teams. Neither are under any pressure, so both can simply enjoy their football. Salzburg are undoubtedly the better side and they should overpower the visitors, though expecting them to do so without giving anything away isn’t wise, especially after their last few matches. Backing ‘Salzburg to Win & Both Teams to Score’, a bet that has landed in four of the hosts’ last five, stands out.
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Each of the last two renewals of this fixture have ended all-square, though Salzburg won each of the two prior to that. When playing Mattersburg on home soil, Salzburg have thrived for some time, winning each of the last seven on home soil. Both teams have scored in four of those seven.
The hosts don’t have too many injury problems at the moment, though deputy full-back Schlager is likely to feature with both Ulmer and Farkas both out injured. Hee-Chan Hwang could also miss out. Aside from that, Salzburg have few problems. With nothing at stake, manager Rose could see the need for rotation.
Jano is suspended for the visitors, while Grgic and Holler could also be sidelined. The visitors could otherwise be near to full strength, though they may also choose to rotate slightly.