St. Polten v Mattersburg – Bundesliga
St. Pölten will be without Mehremic through suspension, which leaves them a little weaker at left back where Grasegger should step in to deputise. Stec is back from a ban and will get straight back in the team. Diallo is a fresh injury concern and will need a late check to prove his fitness if out, they’ll be weaker as Huber and Petrovic haven’t played much together in the recent period. This is a direct clash in the relegation battle and they’ll be only happy with a win. They are only one point above last-placed Ried so any other result could see them dropping down to the danger zone. Expect them to take an attack-minded approach though they’ll face a side backed by momentum and great form in 2017. The team has lost three out of their last four games so belief could be something they’ll be missing here. However, the team’s motivational levels will be set very high as in all those games, they looked as disciplined unit which had a notable game plan. At home, they’ll try to score first and a low scoring game could be seen in what seems to be a tight contest.
Mattersburg are at full strength for the 2nd game in a row and are unlikely to make any changes in personnel from their confidence boosting a 2-1 win over Salzburg. Gerald Baumgartner has done an excellent job after taking over the team in winter, having established his strongest XI soon after. The only possible change could see Höller and Farkas interchanging their positions on the right side. They are in great form and have lots of confidence heading into this game where they’ll be happy to take at least a draw, though they’ll see this as a winnable game. Morale and belief among the squad have been described as unseen yet in Mattersburg. The team is breathing as one so a positive result is achievable here. Expect them to pose a key threat through wide areas where they have enough quality to endanger the hosts and put them under pressure. Despite wanting three points, they won’t take high risks from the start, looking to stay competitive as long as possible. Long passes, high determination and strength at set-pieces are expected to be seen from a team high on confidence.
Verdict & Prediction
This is a kind of must-win match for St. Pölten as they are facing direct rival Mattersburg at home. They’ll be determined to get all three points as Ried are only one point behind them and any other result may see them dropping to bottom place. The away side will be happy to get at least a point from this trip as their aim will be to keep the same difference in the table. However, they are yet to secure their survival in the top flight competition; motivation should be at a high level. Confidence and belief have been boosted with their 2-1 win over Salzburg. They’ll see this game as a chance where another positive result is achievable and they’ll have momentum behind them.
Prediction: Under 2.75 goals
Odds: 1.82 Pinnacle