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Monday, 21 January, 2019

Salzburg can land double with win in Austrian Cup final

Holders have the attacking quality to trouble Sturm Graz

Salzburg midfielder Valon Berisha
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Austrian Cup final 7.30pm Wednesday

Red Bull Salzburg edged Sturm Graz in the Austrian Bundesliga title race and they can take the spoils again when the sides square up in the final of the Austrian Cup.

Still licking their wounds from their dramatic Europa League semi-final defeat to Marseille, Salzburg are looking to complete the league and cup double for the fifth successive season.

They cruised through the early stages of this tournament, chalking up 7-0 wins over Deutschlandsberger in their first match and Austria Klagenfurt in the quarter-finals, but they were taken to penalties by Mattersburg in the semis.

Sturm Graz were also made to work for a place in the final, winning a tightly-fought contest with Rapid Vienna 3-2 in their semi-final, and they are understandably underdogs for the final.

These sides have played each other four times in the Austrian Bundesliga this season, with Salzburg victors on three occasions, having most recently defeated Heiko Vogel’s side 4-1 on Sunday.

As was evident in their Europa League campaign, Salzburg are not a side to sit back and rely on solid defence.

They have relied on the goalscoring exploits of Moanes Dabour, who has netted 20 league goals this term, and a young and developing midfield featuring Hannes Wolf, Amadou Haidara and Valon Berisha.

Salzburg have won five of the last six Austrian Cups and have the quality in the final third to comfortably roll over a Sturm Graz side who have lost two of their last three matches.

Red Bull Salzburg

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Salzburg will be looking to complete a league and cup double for a fifth successive season
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