FC Vaduz scouting report: Third round, second division, first encounter
There’s quite literally a gap in class between Eintracht Frankfurt and FC Vaduz as they prepare for their first ever meeting.
In the opening round of qualifying, the team from Liechtenstein saw off Breidablik Kópavogur from Iceland with a 2-1 aggregate victory, before defeating Fehérvár FC of Hungary in the second round. Despite losing the first leg 1-0, Vaduz managed to squeeze through in the second thanks to a 2-0 win after extra time.
Things have been just as tight for FCV in the early stages of this season’s Swiss Challenge League. After one win and one loss, they had to settle for a point away to newly promoted FC Stade Lausanne-Ouchy last Sunday after squandering an early 2-0 lead in a thrilling 3-3 draw. Vaduz therefore find themselves fifth in the ten-team league. They have been in something of a slump on the domestic front since late last season, with only one win from their past six league matches and 16 goals conceded. Their 41 goals conceded this calendar year is also the most in the Swiss second tier.
Head coach Mario Frick plays his tactical cards close to his chest and is not afraid to change formations. The team often plays a 4-4-2 with a diamond formation in midfield, while they are equally at home in a wider 4-1-4-1 or in an attacking 4-3-3. On the European scene, however, the Liechtenstein Cup record holders tend to play 3-4-2-1.
One to watch: Milan Gajic
Regardless of the formation, one man is always at the heart of the action: Milan Gajic, who was on the score sheet in the 2-0 home win over Fehérvár in the second round. He plied his trade at Young Boys from 2013-2017 and therefore knows Eintracht coach Adi Hütter from their two years together in Bern. The 32-year-old is the only Vaduz player with UEFA Champions League experience, with six appearances in total. In the 2009/10 season, the left-footer turned out for FC Zurich in the group stage against such storied opponents as Real Madrid, Olympique Marseille and AC Milan. Gajic can play anywhere across the midfield and is an excellent striker of a dead ball.