League leaders RB Salzburg will entertain Sturm Graz at the Red Bull Arena Salzburg in a top-of-the-table Austrian Bundesliga clash on Friday.
Both teams will play their first league match of the year and will look to resume their league campaign following the winter break with a win. The hosts are on a six-game unbeaten run in the Bundesliga, keeping five clean sheets. The visitors are unbeaten in their last four league outings, keeping three clean sheets.
Both teams were in action in the Austrian Cup quarterfinals last week, which was their first competitive match of the year. The hosts defeated LASK 3-2 on Friday, with Lucas Gourna-Douath scoring in the first half and Fernando bagging a brace. The visitors met Austria Wien, recording a 2-0 win thanks to first-half goals from Tomi Horvat and Mika Biereth.
Just two points separate the two sides in the league standings, so the visitors will be able to move into pole position with a win, and a draw will work in the hosts’ favor.
RB Salzburg vs Sturm Graz Head-to-Head and Key Numbers
- The two teams have a long-standing rivalry and have met 201 times in all competitions since 1953. The hosts have the upper hand in these meetings, with an 82-67 lead in wins and 52 games ending in draws.
- They were evenly matched in five meetings across all competitions last season, with two wins apiece and one game ending in a draw. They met in the reverse fixture in September, with the game ending in a 2-2 draw.
- RB Salzburg have the best attacking record in the Austrian Bundesliga this season, outscoring Sturm Graz 34-28 in 17 games.
- Salzburg are unbeaten in their last five league home meetings against the visitors, recording four wins.
- Four of the hosts’ last five league games have produced under 2.5 goals, while the visitors have seen under 2.5 goals in three of their last four league games.
RB Salzburg vs Sturm Graz Prediction
Die Roten Bullen have been in good touch recently, as they are unbeaten in their last six league outings while keeping five clean sheets. They registered a hard-fought 3-2 win over LASK in the Austrian Cup on Friday and will look to build on that form.
Interestingly, both of their losses in the Austrian Bundesliga this season have come at home, but they have registered three consecutive wins since those losses and are strong favorites. Samson Baidoo remains sidelined with an injury and is not an option for head coach Gerhard Struber.
Die Schwoazn have just one win in their last five meetings against the hosts, with that triumph coming in a penalty shootout in the Austrian Cup last February. Nonetheless, they have suffered just one loss in away games in the league this season and will look to build on that form.
On-loan striker Mika Biereth, who was brought in to replace the injured Seedy Jatta, scored on his debut in the Austrian Cup last week and is expected to retain his place in the starting XI.
Considering the current form of the two teams and goalscoring record, a high-scoring draw is likely to ensue.
Prediction: RB Salzburg 2-2 Sturm Graz
RB Salzburg vs Sturm Graz Betting Tips
Tip 1: Result – Draw
Tip 2: Goals – Over/Under 2.5 Goals – Over 2.5 goals
Tip 3: At least a goal to be scored in the second half – Yes
Tip 4: Tomi Horvat to score or assist any time – Yes