(Translated by Thomas Snaith)
Comparisons to the fixture against PSV Eindhoven where discussed during Tuesday´s press conference, however FCB´s captain Valentin Stocker and coach Marcel Koller made it clear from the beginning that that the result against PSV means nothing when facing new opponent LASK. FC Basel are not clear favorites to win the fixture. “There was a reason why LASK qualified for the 3rd round before we did. We won´t be taking this challenge lightly”, stated Stocker. FC Basel 1893 will need to play with similar power and quality as they did against the Dutch, which was an exceptional performance.
LASK works against the ball with agression and have a strong team.
One could consider FCB to be favorites when looking at the results of previous years. In recent history, LASK played in Austria´s 2nd division but fought their way back to the top league and qualified for the UEFA Europa League qualification rounds within a year of being back. Unfortunately, due to the away goal rule, LASK just failed to qualify for the group stages when facing Besiktas JK Istanbul.
The east-Austrian team achieved similar results as FCB did last season. They did not participate in intenational competition and ended their season in 2nd place, with a clear point difference to the 1st placed team. The point difference between LASK and the third placed team was significant. As the Austrians have a better UEFA Coefficient ranking than the Swiss, LASK did not need to play in the 2nd UEFA Champions league qualification round.
i dont value who is considered to be favorites. It´s important what happens on the pitch.
The team from Linz already played two fixtures in the Austrian league this season and have proven to be playing for the title- They won their games against SCR Altach (2:0) ans FK Austria Wien (3:0). LASK achieved these positive results even though they lost their coach Oliver Glasner and top-scorer João Victor who moved to VfL Wolfsburg.
Marcel Koller knows his Austrian football and therefore made sure FCB don’t underestimate their opponent: “I already commented after our PSV victory that our biggest mistake would be to underestimate LASK. If we already start talking about the possible fixture against Brugges or Kiev our games against LASK won’t end well.” Basel has one advantage on their side: Basel´s players have played more international fixtures than the Austrians, therefore are now more experienced in these types of situations. “This can provide a little reassurance” stated Koller.
FCB has a positive record against Austrian teams
FCB´s record against Austrian teams is not bad. Out of 6 fixtures FCB won 4. Basel lost their first ever European fixture against an Austrian team, against SSW Innsbruck in 1977 (1:3) but won the return leg (1:0), failing to qualify. Since then FCB faced SV Mattersburg (2007, 2:1 und 4:0) and drew (0:0), as well as an away victory against Salzburg (2:1) in 2014.
QUALITY IS WHEN YOU CAN IMPLEMENT WHAT YOU HAVE INTENDED TO DO.
It´s interesting to note that FCB´s results were always better in the return leg fixtures and away from home. After the fixture against LASK on Wednesday, there will still be everything to play for. The goal must be to create a positive result prior to the return leg a week later in Linz. Zdravko Kuzmanovic and Tician Tushi are still injured. Kamel Ademi has recovered from injury and Albian Ajeti may or may not play due to a slight injury.