The clock on the First Vienna website is counting down and at 6.30pm today (Monday 11th July) the team will kick off their Erste Liga season with an away trip to SCR Altach. This will be followed swiftly by Vienna’s first home game this coming Friday again FC Lustenau.
Austria’s Premier league season then starts the following weekend and Austria Wien will start their season on the 17th July with an away trip to Red Bull Salzburg. Alas I won’t be making the trip toSalzburg but will be heading to the Austria club bar to watch the game live on TV. The following week will see a Euro league qualification match and the first home game for the Violets against Reid.
So with early season games coming thick and fast the Austrian season will be well underway before Leicester City and the rest of the English Championship have even kicked a competitive ball. Leicester will be in Austria for two friendly games against Bursaspor and Valencia respectively the week beginning the 18th July and, after a home friendly against Real Madrid,on the 30th July, will start their season with an away fixture down the M69 at Coventry.
My ever so biased opinion is that Austria could win the league this season, but will definitely finish in the top three again (and ahead of Rapid). Vienna will again find life difficult (they survived last season by winning the relegation play-off) but will finish higher than last season. Over in England Sven Goran Eriksson’s rebuilding of the Leicester squad will see the foxes achieve promotion to the English Premiership.
Oh pre-season optimism, you just can’t beat it!