Preview: Sturm Graz vs. FC Midtjylland – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday’s Europa League clash between Sturm Graz and FC Midtjylland, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Sturm Graz take on FC Midtjylland in the Europa League on Thursday.

Both sides were knocked out at the group stage of last season’s competition, so they will be hoping to improve on that this time around.

Match preview

Indeed, two points from six matches was not Sturm Graz’s ideal return to a European group stage for the first time in a decade, but the Austrians were handed an incredibly tough draw having been placed alongside Monaco, Real Sociedad and PSV Eindhoven.

This time around, they have been drawn against Lazio, Feyenoord and their upcoming opponents Midtjylland, so they may feel that they have an improved chance of finishing third at the very least, which would see them drop into the Europa Conference League.

As such, Thursday’s home match against the Danes becomes one of the utmost importance, as realistically it is one which they must be taking three points from if they are to have a realistic shot at progressing from Group F.

Having finished second in the Austrian Bundesliga last season – their best league finish for four seasons – Christian Ilzer will feel confident of improving on last season’s European showing, having made a decent enough start domestically with 12 points from seven matches seeing them occupy third position.

Midtjylland's Charles celebrates with Erik Sviatchenko after the match on February 17, 2022© Reuters

Midtjylland, on the other hand, have seriously struggled to get going in the early weeks of the current campaign, taking only nine points from eight matches to lie in eighth position in the Danish Superliga.

Having finished in the top three in 10 of the previous 11 seasons, with Brentford owner Matthew Benham massively improving their fortunes since becoming the club’s majority shareholder in July 2014, it has been an alarming couple of months for the Wolves, culminating in former Barcelona B boss Albert Capellas replacing Bo Henriksen in the dugout.

Capellas won his first game in charge away to Brondby last weekend, before losing 2-0 at home to AaB last time out. With a fourth league title in the club’s history looking unlikely even at this early stage of the season, the Spaniard may prioritize the Europa League, as he aims to take Midtjylland beyond the group stage for only the second time ever.

A win in Austria on Thursday could significantly galvanize a squad which is clearly lacking morale at present, and provide belief that they could upset the apple cart by finishing ahead of either Lazio or Feyenoord to progress to the knockout rounds.

Sturm Graz form (all competitions):

FC Midtjylland form (all competitions):

Team News

FC Midtjylland's Raphael Onyedika celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on July 28, 2021© Reuters

Jorg Siebenhandlwho is Sturm Graz’s first-choice goalkeeper, has suffered a minor muscle strain and is facing a race against time to prove his fitness for the visit of Midtjylland on Thursday.

Should he lose that battle, Tobias Schutzenauer will replace him having started in the Austrian Cup recently, meanwhile Jakob Jantscher, Otar Kiteishvili and Niklas Geyrhofer are all definitely ruled out through injury.

Midtjylland, meanwhile, will travel without Junior Brumado due to a strained knee, while Pablo Ortiz is doubtful due to a foot injury.

Former Brentford defender Henrik Dalsgaard could come into the team at right-back.

Sturm Graz possible starting lineup:
Schutzenauer; Gazibegovic, Wuthrich, Borkovic, Dante; Hierlander, Stankovic, Prass; Horvats; Bowing, Emegha

FC Midtjylland possible starting lineup:
Lossl; Dalsgaard, Sviatchenko, Juninho, Paulinho; Dreyer, Olsson, Evander; Isaksen, Kaba, Sisto

SM words green background

We say: Sturm Graz 1-2 FC Midtjylland

Neither side head into this fixture in the best of form, but the visitors will possess more individual quality and this could be the match which kick-starts Capellas’s reign.

The hosts gained only two points from six games in last season’s Europa League, so they may be lacking belief that they can compete at this level.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 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.Under 3.5: curl

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