Sturm Graz vs Hartberg
Austria – Bundesliga
Date: Saturday, 28 July 2018
Kick-Off at 16:00 UK / 17:00 CET
Venue: Merkur Arena, Graz.
Hartberg are set for the Bundesliga debut on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Graz to take on Austrian giants Sturm Graz. It will be a huge occasion for the visitors who made their way to the top flight for the first time in history by winning the runners-up position in the previous term of 2. Liga. They ended the campaign three points short of champions Wacker Innsbruck and six ahead of the third-placed Wiener Neustadt.
Sturm, on the other side, enjoyed a breakthrough campaign last year. They finished runners-up to still untouchable Salzburg, earning the right to represent their country in the Champions League qualifications for the first time in seven years.
The Blackies were in the UCL action just in mid-week when they fell 2-0 to Ajax away at Amsterdam Arena. Making it to the third qualifying round will be a very tough challenge given they have to come back from a two-goal deficit against such a strong opposition next Wednesday.
Sturm Graz vs Hartberg: Head-to-head
This will be the fourth head to head encounter between Sturm and Hartberg.
The visitors stunned the Graz giants 2-4 in the Austrian Cup back in April 2012.
Teams then shared spoils in 1-1 draw in a pre-season friendly two years later, while the Blackies got their revenge for the mentioned Cup loss by demolishing Hartberg 0-6 in the same competition in 2015.
Sturm Graz vs Hartberg: Prediction
Speaking of the Austrian Cup, both teams were successful last weekend. The mixed line-up of Sturm’s expectedly eased 0-2 past amateur side of Siegersund, while Hartberg needed extra time to survive an early Grodig threat (1-3).
The visitors play attacking football under Markus Schopp. All of last six games they played saw goals at both ends and we could be in for a high-scoring affair when they take on last year’s runners-up in the opening round of the new season.
Based on everything written above, the stand-out bet is Sturm to win & BTTS at the odds of 3.10. Backing three or more goals in the match would be a safer option.
Sturm Graz vs Hartberg: Bet Tips
Sturm Graz to win & BTTS @ 3.10
Over 2.5 goals FT @ 1.66.