Salzburg scouting report: Get ready for a wild ride!
After narrowly missing out on the Champions League last 16, the Bulls are back in the Europa League. Eintracht will be coming up against a dynamic attacking force on Thursday.
If you look merely at the ‘goals scored’ column of the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, then FC Salzburg would be a semi-final candidate already. The Bulls found the back of the net no fewer than 16 times, putting them among the top four in the competition. Unfortunately for them, they also conceded 13 and after some absolutely thrilling group ties, Liverpool kept a cool head in the final match and ran out 2-0 winners, leaving Salzburg down in third and forced to take a UEFA Europa League spot as a consolation prize. Over the winter break, they also lost two of their most prized assets in forwards Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund) and Takumi Minamino (Liverpool).
Coach Jesse Marsch favours a high-tempo style for the Bulls and prefers players who are quick, active, aggressive and hungry – particularly in front of goal. After the departures of Haaland and Minamino, Dominik Szoboszlai, Patson Daka and Hee-Chan Hwang have been given added responsibilities up front.
Last Friday, Salzburg relinquished top spot in the Austrian Bundesliga to LASK, who defeated them 3-2. They are however into the semis of the domestic cup competition, where they will once again face the Linz club.
One to watch: Zlatko Junuzovic
Junuzovic made his debut in the Austrian Bundesliga over 14 years ago now, with Grazer AK. The versatile midfielder enjoyed a break-out season in 2010/11 when he scored nine times in the league for Austria Wien and was voted the country’s footballer of the year. In January 2012 he made the move to the German Bundesliga, where his box-to-box running saw him become a fixture in the middle or on the wings for six-and-half years at Werder Bremen, making 198 appearances.
As well as his physical qualities, 32-year-old Austrian international Junuzovic – who represented his country at Euro 2016 – is a mean striker of a dead ball. In 2014/15 he scored five times from free-kicks and managed 22 in total before returning to Austria.