Rapid want to send a clear message in domestic competition after last night’s excruciating Europa League result.
The Green-Whites were sent packing by Italian giants Inter at Giuseppe Meazza (0-4) after having suffered a narrow 0-1 defeat on home soil last week. “This result won’t make me scrutinise everything. We will draw strength from this defeat,” concluded coach Dietmar Kühbauer.
Rapid’s next opponents, however, reached the next round in the EL. Red Bull Salzburg had the upper hand over against Belgian outfit Club Brugge (4-0). The Marco Rose side were under considerable pressure after losing the first leg of the knockout stage encounter. Now Salzburg – assured and confident – face Rapid (Allianz Stadion Vienna, Sunday 5pm). A thrilling battle can be expected as matches between Austria’s most successful club of the past decade, RBS, and SK Rapid, the country’s most popular, have never been uneventful occasions.
Red Bull did not just make progress on international level but also in the ÖFB Cup. The Bulls beat Wiener Neustadt. Rapid, who have been struggling in recent years to catch up with Salzburg, celebrated a convincing 5-2 victory against Hartberg. Sunday’s match is their opening Bundesliga fixture of this year – and while Salzburg sit comfortably on top of the table, only slim chances remain for Rapid to reach the championship playoff.