Austria Vienna will host Fenerbahce in the first leg of their Europa League qualifying playoff-round tie on Thursday, with the Austrian side hoping for a positive result on home soil before the trip to Istanbul next week.
Having failed to qualify for the group stage of any European competition since the 2017-18 season, this tie with Fenerbahce is a huge opportunity and occasion for Austria Vienna and their supporters.
With Red Bull Salzburg dominating Austrian football with nine consecutive title victories un the past decade, opportunities in European football have inevitably become more limited for Thursday’s hosts.
Die Veilchen were the last team to break Salzburg’s stranglehold by winning the Austrian Bundesliga in 2012-13 before qualifying for the Champions League group stage the following campaign.
However, just two group stage appearances in the Europa League have come since then, with last season’s third-placed finish their highest league placing in five years.
In fact, former Austria defender Ferdinand Feldhofer has made an impressive impact since taking over as head coach in November 2021, with the 42-year-old boasting a 45% win rate from his 31 game in charge so far.
Meanwhile Fenebahce competed in the Europa League group stage just last season, when they finished behind Olympiakos and eventual champions Eintracht Frankfurt.
Having finished second in the Turkish Super Lig last season, their best placing for four years, the Yellow Canaries have since attracted Jorge Jesus as their head coach, with the 68-year-old bringing a barge of European experience and success to the club.
Despite unfortunately losing to Dynamo Kyiv after extra time in the Champions League qualifying rounds, Jesus has clearly inherited a talented crop of players at his disposal, especially after adding the likes of Diego Rossi, Emre Mor and Joao Pedro to their attack during the summer transfer window.
Austria Vienna vs Fenerbahce head to head
The two teams have not previously met in any competition and this will be their first meeting in the first leg of their Europa League qualifying playoff-round tie.
Austria Vienna latest home form
Austria Vienna have recently been on a relatively good run of form at home, having been unbeaten in their four most recent matches. They managed to defeat WSG Tirol 2-1 in their last home game in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored nine goals and conceded seven.
Austria Vienna 1-2 Salzburg 17/04/22
Austria Vienna 1-1 Rapid Vienna 08/05/22
Austria Vienna 4-2 Sturm Graz 21/05/22
Austria Vienna 1-1 LASK 31/07/22
Austria Vienna 2-1 WSG Tirol 13/08/22
Austria Vienna latest away form
Austria Vienna have recently failed to keep a good run of form on the road, having lost each of their two most recent matches. They lost 3-2 to Rheindorf Altach in their last away game in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored 14 goals and conceded eight.
First Vienna 0-3 Austria Vienna 02/07/22
Monaco 2-2 Austria Vienna 06/07/22
Wels 0-7 Austria Vienna 16/07/22
Salzburg 3-0 Austria Vienna 22/07/22
Rheindorf Altach 3-2 Austria Vienna 07/08/22
Fenerbahce latest home form
Fenerbahce have recently been on a relatively good run of form at home, as they have lost just one of their five most recent matches. They drew 3-3 with Umraniyespor in their last home game in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored 12 goals and conceded five.
Fenerbahce 3-0 Fehervar 05/07/22
Fenerbahce 2-0 Hull City 10/07/22
Fenerbahce 1-2(E) Dinamo Kiev 27/07/22
Fenerbahce 3-0 Slovacko 04/08/22
Fenerbahce 3-3 Umraniyespor 08/08/22
Fenerbahce latest away form
Fenerbahce have recently been on a good run of form on the road, and have been unbeaten in their five most recent matches. They managed to defeat Kasimpasa 6-0 in their last away game in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored 13 goals and conceded just two.
Besiktas 1-1 Fenerbahce 08/05/22
Yeni Malatyaspor 0-5 Fenerbhace 21/05/22
Dinamo Kiev 0-0 Fenerbahce 20/07/22
Slovacko 1-1 Fenerbahce 11/08/22
Kasimpasa 0-6 Fenerbahce 15/08/22
Austria Vienna news
Austria Vienna have a host of injury concerns, with Armand Smrcka, James Holland, Ziad El Sheiwi, Andreas Gruber, Matan Baltaxa, Marko Rugaz and Johannes Handl all sidelined.
Lucas Galvao was sent off during the win over WSG Tirol, but he should retain his place as his ban only applies to league matches.
Fenerbahce have several fitness problems and will likely travel to Vienna without Mert Hakan Yandas, Irfan Kahveci, Nazim Sangare, Serdar Aziz as well as new signing Pedro.
Having defeated Kasimpasa on Monday, Jesus was able to bring Valencia and King off early, while Miguel Crespo and Rossi were only utilised from the bench.
Prediction and Odds
Fenerbahce head to Vienna boasting superior individual quality, but with a number of players missing out through injury, we envisage Vienna digging in to secure a draw.
That outcome would probably suit both sides, with the visitors feeling that they are more likely to win in Sukru Stadium next Thursday.
Odds: 1 2.28 X 2.05 2 2.20
Austria Vienna 0-0 Fenerbahce
Austria Vienna 1-1 Fenerbahce
Austria Vienna 2-2 Fenerbahce
Austria Vienna 0-1 Fenerbahce
Austria Vienna 1-3 Fenerbahce