On St. Valentine day, February 14th we will play the first leg of the Round of 32 in the Europa League against SK Rapid Wien in Wien with the return leg a week later at San Siro. At the moment the Austrian Championship is on its winter break, so we will play against a team that doesn’t have an official game in a couple of month while we just won against Parma and we will face Samp (at San Siro) this weekend.
Sk Rapid Wien, also known as The Green-whites, have a rich past. They have won their league 32 times, 14 times the national cup and between the two World Wars, when Austria was a leading football nation in Europe and was annex to Germany, they were also able to win a German title and a German cup. That was a long time ago though. In the more recent past Rapid Wien is struggling in their league (won last time in the 07/08 season) and standing 8th position at the moment, -28 from the leading Red Bull Salzburg.
In Europe they qualified at the last match, defeating Glasgow Rangers at the 84′ minute and moving in second position after an undefeated Villarreal, despite both having 10 points. It seems like their main problem is not having a real striker, with 3 players at 4 goals so far. A total of 6 GF in Europa League and 17 in Bundesliga makes them the worst in that standing. Hopefully, Skriniar and the rest of the defense won’t have any problem to keep the situation under control. On the other side, Icardi will have some space, facing a slow defensive duo who already allowed 9 goal in Europe and 25 in Bundesliga.
4-2-3-1 is the tactic mostly used by coach Kuhbauer, who can count on the strength of Schwab in midfield, the captain of the team and probably one of the few elements to really fear, with the striker Alar, Murg on the right and (of course!!!) Cristoph Knasmullner, Trequartista who spent a few months at Appiano in Inter’s youth team.
Last note, in our Club History we have faced Rapid Wien just once, in the 1990-91 Coppa Uefa. In that double match, we had to come back against Rapid Wien and Aston Villa (and beating Atalanta and Sporting Lisbon) before winning the cup against Rome in the final.
Fingers crossed than and good luck pronouncing the name of their left back Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo!