21 August 2019
LASK Linz and Club Brugge go head-to-head at the Linzer Stadion for the first leg of their Champions League playoffs tie, with the hosts preparing to tackle a Belgian club for the first time in their respective history.
Unbeaten in all seven of their competitive outings this term (W6, D1), the hosts now have the opportunity to secure their elusive first appearance in the CL group stage. Five of their six wins this season have seen them score two or more goals while three have been accompanied by a clean sheet. After finishing as runners-up in the Austrian Bundesliga last season, Die Schwarz-Weißen went on to get better of the Swiss giants Basel in the third CL qualifying round, 5-2 on aggregate (3-1 h, 1-2 a). It will be LASK’s fifth match in the CL Qualifiers (W2, L2), as they look to become the fifth Austrian side to appear in the CL group stage since Austria Wien in 2013/14.
Meanwhile, the visitors look to break into the CL group stage for the second season in a row, after finishing third in their respective section last year. The Austrian giants, Salzburg, have then ended Club Brugge’s European campaign 5-2 on aggregate. A 4-0 away loss to Salzburg has brought the Belgian side’s three-game away winning run against the Austrian clubs in Europe. Philippe Clement’s players have dumped out Dynamo Kyiv in the third qualifying round, 4-3 on aggregate (1-0 h, 3-3 a), as they can now secure the CL group stage coming through the qualifiers for the first time since 2005/06. Blauw-Zwart have gone from four consecutive wins at the beginning of the new season to back-to-back draws, both of which have seen none of the teams leading at the halftime break. Three of their wins in that period have seen them beat their rivals by a multiple-goal margin, with three being accompanied by a clean sheet too.
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