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HomeAustriaPreview: Austria Vienna vs. Lech Poznan - prediction, team news, lineups

Preview: Austria Vienna vs. Lech Poznan – prediction, team news, lineups

Austria Vienna welcome Polish champions Lech Poznan to the Generali Arena on Thursday evening in the UEFA Europa Conference League.

Despite taking just one point from their opening four matches, the Violets still have a good chance of progressing to the knockout stage.

Match preview

Austria Vienna have just arguably faced their three toughest home matches of the season all in succession, facing Red Bull Salzburg, Villarreal and Sturm Graz, and disappointingly but unsurprisingly, they lost all of them.

A 4-1 defeat to Lech in the reverse fixture was the starting point for a worrying run of form in which they have won just two of their last nine games, losing six, conceding 22 goals.

Their 0-0 draw with Hapoel Be’er Sheva on matchday one remains their only point in the group so far, as the three defeats that followed have included some heavy ones, with their goal difference now on minus nine.

That makes it all the more remarkable that they are still in contention to qualify, but a win here is a must as they aim to close the four point gap between themselves and Lech.

That looks a difficult task when you look at Lech’s recent away record, as the Poles have lost only three of their last 20 games on the road, but all three came in Europe against Villarreal, Vikingur and Qarabag.

With Villarreal a long way clear and already through as group winners, Lech are in the driving seat to join them in the knockout stages, but this European campaign has seemingly dented their domestic form so far this season.

The reigning champions are down in seventh, 10 points off leaders Rakow Czestochowa, who do not have the same distractions as Lech given they were beaten in UECL qualifying in August.

A heavy reliance on Swedish striker Mikael Ishak has amplified their struggles too, because after the entire team scored so freely last season, the same cannot be said now.

Ishak has been involved in 12 of their 22 goals domestically and in their group so far, and while losing Jakub Kaminski to Wolfsburg was always going to be a big loss, the form of Joao Amaral has fallen off a cliff this season, so much so that the 14-goal man from last season has rarely started this campaign.

Source: Sports Mole

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