CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON - Thursday, September 22, 2011
Third place LASK Linz heads west on Friday to clash with the Erste Liga's current second-place holders, needing any points possible to remain in the chase for promotion.
Defender Shawn Barry can expect to get the start now that Walter Schachner has seen the American settle into the starting backline.
Both teams have recently tasted Bundesliga action, are chomping at the bit to return to the top flight, and are in pursuit of the league's unlikely leaders in WAC/St. Andrä. LASK were relegated last season, as were Altach three seasons ago.
Linz has lagged the past few times out on the field, recording draws in their last two league outings. On a bright note, the Black and Whites most recently steamrolled FK Austria's Amateur squad to the tune of 5-0 in the round of 32 of the ÖFB-Samsung Cup on Tuesday night.
Altach are led by Spaniard Correa Miranda Tomas Esteban, nicknamed Tomi, who notched his team-leading sixth and seventh of the season in their latest league outing, a 5-0 rout of SC Austria Lustenau.
Midfielder Patrick Sherrer should make a return to the Altach bench after barely missing the lineup in that game.
On the Linz side of the field, newcomer Luiz Henrique must sit out after picking up a red card in last Friday's 1-1 draw against cross-town rivals Blau-Weiss Linz.
The Altachers upset the hosts the last time the two met last July, with Patrick Seeger providing the firepower with two goals for the 2-0 win.