News | Lee Wingate

SV Wals Grünau vs. FCPS Match Preview

The opposition:

Though founded back in 1957, it has only been since the appointment of Franz Aigner as head coach in 2016 that SV Wals Grünau have started to enjoy some noteworthy success. The St. Johann im Pongau native guided Die Grünauer to a first-place finish in the Salzburg League in his first full season in charge and followed that up with seventh place in the Regionalliga West in 2017/18 – the best placement in the club’s history. They could not maintain that form the following season and finished 12th in what was then a 16-team league, but were fifth in the table last term before the campaign was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

Team news:

The only doubt for FC Pinzgau Saalfelden is New Zealand left-back Oliver Valentine, who is currently suffering from stomach problems. Christian Ziege otherwise has a full squad at his disposal for this Matchday 1 clash against SV Wals Grünau, who were the opponents on the opening day of the 2019/20 campaign too.

FCPS midfielder Niklas Seiler spent the 2018/19 campaign playing for Die Grünauer, before making the move 43 kilometers south to Saalfelden last summer. The two danger men for SVWG will likely be Matthias Pichler (nine goals) and Marcel Bernhofer (seven goals), who between them accounted for almost half of the 33 goals their side scored in 2019/20. Pichler already has three goals against FCPS to his name.

Recent form

Christian Ziege’s charges impressed in their four pre-season friendlies, following up the 5-0 thrashing of SC Mühlbach with an unlucky 1-1 draw against TSU Bramberg. Next came a respectable 5-1 defeat at the hands of 1993 Champions League winners Olympique de Marseille, before the summer preparations were concluded with a 1-0 win over FC Kitzbühel.

SV Wals Grünau, meanwhile, were in action three times in pre-season. Franz Aigner’s charges defeated Ostermiething 2-1 and were then beaten 4-1 by Gurten, before rounding off pre-season with a 1-0 win over Eugendorf.

Head-to-head record

FC Pinzgau Saalfelden have an even head-to-head record against SV Wals-Grünau, with eight wins, one draw and eight defeats from their previous 17 meetings. But FCPS dominated the two clashes last term, winning 4-1 away on the opening day and 3-0 at home in September.