Part VI: Gimme a Break
Note: This is Part VI of an ongoing series. If this is your first time reading, you may want to begin with Part I: Introductions.
I know that last week I promised you a little more soccer history, but everything is starting to move quickly as I get ready to go to Austria. So, the post on Matthias Sindelar, also known as “The Paper Man,” that was planned for today will have to wait until next week.
In the meantime, a quick recap of the Bundesliga over the past week.
On the international stage, Red Bull Salzburg advanced to the playoff round of the Champions League with a 4-0 aggregate versus Shkëndija. Next week they’ll match up against Red Star Belgrade from Serbia. This looks to be the best battle of the Reds since the Sino-Soviet split.*
In the Europa League, things didn’t go quite so well. Sturm Graz had a disastrous day, losing on a 0-7 aggregate to AEK Larnaca, and LASK, despite winning the second leg 2-1, lost on away goals with a tied aggregate 2-2. As such, both are eliminated from the tournament. Rapid Wien, however, did manage to move forward, winning their second leg match 4-0. This was enough to put them over the top of a 5-2 aggregate score. They’ll take on FCSB from Romania in the first leg of the playoffs next week.
Back in the Bundesliga, Hartberg managed to get their first win of the season in an upset of Mettersburg, scoring 4 and allowing 2. Red Bull Salzburg continued their winning streak, beating FK Austria Wien 2-0 and maintaining their spot at the top of the table. Meanwhile, Altach moved to the bottom of the table after losing to Wacker Innsbruck. Elsewhere, LASK beat Admira (1-0), St. Pölten managed to get over Sturm Graz (2-0), and Rapid Wien and Wolfsberger drew at 0-0.
This week, there are some good mid-table matches. I don’t think Red Bull Salzburg is in any danger of losing the top spot, even if they’re facing a freshly ego-boosted Hartberg. The match to watch this week is LASK vs. Rapid Wien. Also, after being down on them, I’m on the St. Pölten train (which, if you’ve followed my picks in the past, could be their death knell). All the matchups and my picks are below.
Wacker vs. St. Pölten
Mattersburg vs. Wolfsberger
Red Bull Salzburg vs. Hartberg
Austria Wien vs. Admira
Sturm Graz vs. Altach
LASK vs. Rapid Wien
Like I said, next week I’ll be diving into quite possibly the best/most famous soccer player in Austrian history – Matthias Sindelar. But in the meantime, I hope we can all enjoy some fun soccer this week! Until next week, Auf Wiedersehen!
*What do you mean that joke hasn’t been relevant since 1985?
Update: You can continue this series with Part VII: The Rise of the Paper Man.