MX23RW : Monday, January 25 06:02:04| >> :600:3916379:3916379:
Nov 26, 2020 at 8pm UK at Oriel Park
Rapid ViennaRapid Vienna
Shields (63' pen.)
Dummigan (45'), Cleary (82')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Knasmullner (11'), Kara (37', 58')
Grahovac (8')

Preview: Dundalk vs. Rapid Vienna - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between Dundalk and Rapid Vienna, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Dundalk will be hoping to avoid a fourth straight defeat in the Europa League when they welcome Austrian outfit Rapid Vienna to Oriel Park on Thursday evening.

In contrast, the visitors are three points off the knockout places and will be aware that nothing but a win will do in their bid to break into the top two in Group B.

Match preview

Dundalk manager Filippo Giovagnoli pictured on November 5, 2020© Reuters

Dundalk manager Filippo Giovagnoli has encouraged his side to play without fear in their final three games of the Europa League group stage, as it is highly unlikely that the Irish outfit will mount a charge for a knockout berth now.

It would be unfair to say that Dundalk have not given a good account of themselves in Europe, as Giovagnoli's men have held their own against tough opposition, but ultimately the Irish giants have taken zero points from a possible nine and will likely just be playing for pride from now on.

Giovagnoli's men suffered a narrow defeat to Molde on matchday one before being swept aside by Arsenal at the Emirates, but their first encounter with Rapid Vienna was one of the games of the group stage - albeit one which they eventually came out on the wrong end of the scoreline in.

Indeed, both teams hit the back of the net two times in the final 10 minutes - with Dundalk's David McMillan netting twice from the spot - but Vienna ran out 4-3 winners in an enthralling fixture, and the two sides would do extremely well to live up to that game on Thursday evening.

Dundalk's underwhelming end to the domestic campaign saw them finish third in the table, but Giovagnoli's side managed to end their six-game winless streak with a comfortable 4-1 win over Bohemians last Friday - a result which saw them cruise through to the FAI Cup semi-finals.

Rapid Vienna manager Dietmar Kuhbauer pictured on November 5, 2020© Reuters

Rapid Vienna recently played out another 4-3 - this time in the Austrian top flight, but Dietmar Kuhbauer's side came out on the wrong end of the scoreline in that clash with Ried.

Last season's runners-up tasted defeat in the Austrian Bundesliga for the first time this season at the weekend, with Ried's Marco Grull popping up with a late winner when the tie seemed destined to end 3-3 at the Josko Arena.

There is no time for Rapid Vienna to dwell on that disheartening defeat as a spot in the Europa League knockout stages is still very much on the cards, with Kubhauer's men currently three points adrift of Molde, who are not expected to get the better of Arsenal on matchday four.

With Arsenal looking certain to top the group and Dundalk expected to finish rock bottom, everything is pointing towards an intense battle between Molde and Vienna for the final qualification spot, and that will come to a head when the two hopefuls face off in their last group match next month.

Dundalk Europa League form: WWWLLL
Dundalk form (all competitions): LLDLLW

Rapid Vienna Europa League form: LLW
Rapid Vienna form (all competitions): WLWWDL

Team News

Rapid Vienna's Maximilian Hofmann celebrates with teammates after scoring against Dundalk on November 5, 2020© Reuters

Dundalk forward Patrick Hoban, who broke the deadlock in their 4-3 loss to Rapid Vienna earlier this month, will play no part after it was confirmed that the 29-year-old will have to undergo ankle surgery.

As a result, McMillan is sure to be given the chance to keep his impressive goalscoring run going, but Sean Murray and Dane Massey are both doubtful.

Giovagnoli opted for a 3-4-3 against Bohemians but may switch to a more familiar back four here, with the likes of Sean Hoare and Darragh Leahy expected to come back into the defence.

Rapid Vienna also have a number of absentees to deal with for their trip to Dundalk, with the quintet of Dejan Ljubicic, Christopher Dibon, Dalibor Velimirovic, Dejan Petrovic and Philipp Schobesberger unavailable for matchday four.

Filip Stojkovic should come back in on the right-hand side of the visitors' defence, while Kelvin Arase could also return to fitness in time to start in the attack, potentially demoting Taxiarchis Fountas to the bench.

Dundalk possible starting lineup:
McCarey; Hoare, Cleary, Boyle, Leahy; Mountney, Shields; Colovic, Flores, Oduwa; McMillan

Rapid Vienna possible starting lineup:
Gartler; Stojkovic, Hofmann, Barac, Ullmann; Ritzmaier, Grahovac; Demir, Knasmullner, Arase; Kara

SM words green background

We say: Dundalk 1-2 Rapid Vienna

Dundalk can afford to throw caution to the wind with their chances of a top-two finish almost dead in the water, and that should bode well for the hosts in front of goal. However, even though Rapid Vienna have several injury concerns, we cannot see Dundalk chalking up another trio of goals against the Austrian powerhouses and expect the visitors to keep their knockout hopes alive with a narrow win on Thursday.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data


Who will win Thursday's Europa League clash between Dundalk and Rapid Vienna?

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