CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON - Saturday, August 4, 2012
Rapid Vienna host their cross-town arch-rivals for the first time since disturbances over a year ago, and hope to defend their undefeated and shutout streak on Sunday.
U.S. striker Terrence Boyd can anticipate his third league start in Coach Peter Schöttl's squad, after going the full ninety in last Thursday's 2-1 loss in a Europa League qualifier against FK Vojvodina Novi Sad.
Sunday's encounter will be the first on Rapid's home turf in Hanappi Stadion since the May 25, 2011 pitch invasion that resulted in fines and closed matches. Both of the derbies last season were played at Austria Vienna's Horr Stadion.
Rapid were on a roll in league action, shutting out two teams that have yet to find a point in the first two games this season, until their loss at the hands of Novi Sad. The match against the Violets will be the first true test of Schöttl's formation with Boyd at the top.
Doubts are clouding over the Violets camp after the first two unconvincing results of the season. Coach Peter Stöger spent the week analyzing his men's 1-0 loss to Sturm Graz at home last weekend. The jolt to the system came after a their season opener, in which Tomas Jun made the difference after some 77 minutes in a 1-0 win over Wolfsberger AC, a promoted team in their first-ever game in the Austrian Bundesliga.
Both squads will benefit from healthy benches and a bristling atmosphere for the Sunday evening encounter.