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European Trip To Begin For Rovers

European Trip To Begin For Rovers

Blackburn Rovers may have failed in Sweden, failed again in Eastern Europe and even failed in Scotland. However, now is the time to put all of our European blues behind us, Austria here we come!

F.C. Salzburg provides Rovers with a new adventure, one which Mark Hughes is confident we can surpass but equally holds no illusions about, "It would be nice for us to progress into the latter stages, although this is not the easiest of ties."

So what can we expect of Austria's leading side? Firstly it is hard to comment on their history as it has become something of a question mark. On April 6th 2005 Salzburg were re-named for a forth time in their history, although this change caused wide-spread protest amongst their supporters.

They were taken over by Red Bull and were aptly named Red Bull Salzburg. This is where the controversy derives because after the take over was complete Red Bull's representatives claimed that Red Bull Salzburg had no history. They effectively wiped out the club's illustrious seventy-three year existence, which included three national championships (1994, 1995 and 1997), UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup appearances, reaching the UEFA Cup final in 1994 against Inter Milan (lost both legs 1-0).

So, now for a more contemporaneous view. Red Bull Salzburg currently sits at the top of the Austrian Bundesliga with seventeen points from seven games. They also have a tendency to score plenty of goals, twice already this season they have managed four in a game. They are very much a team in form and boast some familiar world names in their squad; Thomas Linke, Alexander Zickler, Niko Kovac, Vratislav Lokvenc and Johan Vonlanthen, to name but a few. These players bring a wealth of European experience to add to the knowledge of veteran Giovanni Trapattoni.

It is because of the millions that Red Bull continue to pump into the club that they are able to attract such prestigious European names. They even managed to entice Lothar Matthaus as their coach after he resigned from his post with Atletico Paranaense.

They seem to operate in a four-five-one formation with Kovac as the holding player, a position we are familiar seeing him in for Croatia during the World Cup. Alexander Zickler, at the age of thirty-two, still has an eye for goal, leading the clubs scoring with seven strikes so far, although he didn`t start their last match, a four-nil victory against F.C. Wacker Tirol. He will no doubt provide a worry for the likes of Ryan Nelsen and Andre Ooijer while Linke and Kovac will provide solid experienced defending. Kovac will no doubt be employed to neutralize the threat of Morten Gamst Pedersen and David Bentley arriving from wide positions by sitting just in front of the defense.

Whilst we will be looking for our first victory away at Sheffield United on Saturday, Salzburg will be aiming to defend their lead with a trip to Rapid Wien on Sunday. Keep an eye out on Vital Blackburn for a report on that game as well as any breaking news regarding next week's televised fixture.

The article was written by James Watson.

Keep an eye out for this highly talented and aspiring writer as he will without doubt be contributing to this site regularly in the future.

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Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Wednesday September 6 2006
Time: 9:04AM


Great article James, this really is worth a look! We need to support our up and coming writers as well as Rovers.
Hughes Da Man
06/09/2006 09:08:00
Keep an eye for next weeks update on our forthcoming European opposition. Keep up the good work Hughes Da Man; the site is developing at a rapid pace
06/09/2006 09:57:00
Thanks roversman it's getting there. Hopefully maybe as soon as tonight will start to see some QUALITY player profiles starting to be added.
Hughes Da Man
06/09/2006 10:43:00
Cracking article. Lovely city to watch football in as I know from personal experience.
06/09/2006 12:29:00
Cracking article indeed, James has written another article, which from a quick glance again looks a corker! The Rovers fans can look forward to a trip to a great city then from the looks of it, let's hope it's not our only port of call this season.
Hughes Da Man
06/09/2006 12:47:00
Cost and Work Schedules means that I can't go to Austria :-( i believe there are only 700 tickets up for grabs... but i'll certainly be claiming my seat for the return leg at Home!
Ex Ewood Resident
06/09/2006 15:34:00
Although you would hope it would happen do you think the full 700 tickets will be snapped up?
Hughes Da Man
06/09/2006 18:43:00
this is a very good article. top drawer.
rovers powerhouse
08/09/2006 23:42:00
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