On Thursday, Sturm Graz plays FC Midtjylland in the Europa League.Last season’s competition saw both teams eliminated at the group stage, so they will be looking to change that this time around.
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Sturm Graz vs FC Midtjylland Tips and Prediction
Sturm Graz’s return to a European group stage for the first time in a decade was not ideal—two points from six games—but the Austrians were dealt an exceptionally difficult draw—they were paired with Monaco, Real Sociedad, and PSV Eindhoven.
They may believe they have a better chance of placing third this time around, which would cause them to descend into the Europa Conference League, given that they were drawn against Lazio, Feyenoord, and their upcoming opponent Midtjylland. They may believe they have a better chance of placing third this time around, which would cause them to descend into the Europa Conference League, given that they were drawn against Lazio, Feyenoord, and their upcoming opponent Midtjylland.
As a result, Thursday’s game against the Danes at home assumes paramount importance because, in all likelihood, they must win three points there to have a chance of leaving Group F.
Christian Ilzer will be confident of improving on last season’s European performance as they finished second in the Austrian Bundesliga last season, which was their best league finish in four seasons. They have also had a respectable domestic start, with 12 points from seven games placing them in third place.
Midtjylland, on the other hand, has had a very difficult time getting going in the first few weeks of this season, earning just nine points from its first eight games to sit in eighth place in the Danish Superliga.
It has been a worrying couple of months for the Wolves, who had finished in the top three in 10 of the previous 11 seasons. This culminated in former Barcelona B manager Albert Capellas replacing Bo Henriksen in the dugout. Brentford owner Matthew Benham had significantly improved their fortunes since becoming the club’s majority shareholder in July 2014.
Capellas defeated Brondby 2-0 in his debut game in charge last Saturday before losing to AaB 2-0 the following week at home. The Spaniard may prioritize the Europa League as he seeks to advance Midtjylland through the group stage for just the second time in club history, as a fourth league championship appears doubtful even at this early point of the season.
A victory in Austria on Thursday may substantially boost a team’s morale, which is currently weak, and give them hope that they can shock the system by finishing ahead of Lazio or Feyenoord to advance to the knockout stages.
Although neither team is in the best of condition going into this match, the visitors certainly have more individual talent, and this might be the game that launches Capellas’s reign.
The hosts’ performance in the Europa League last season, where they only managed two points from six games, suggests that they may not be confident enough to compete at this level.