PREVIEW: Rapid up for a fight

Rapid Vienna coach Peter Schottel has promised his side will put up a fight in their final Europa League K match against leaders Metalist Kharkiv.

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Schottel's side are dead last in the group without a point to their name after five matches, and on paper a meeting with the unbeaten group leaders looks like a no-contest.

But Schottel is determined to give the Rapid fans something to cheer in their final European outing of the season, and is hoping to encounter a Metalist side with their mind on other things as their qualification is already assured.

"A glance at the table says a lot," Schottel told a press conference. "We may be underdogs, but we are very motivated to earn some points, which is something that so far has been denied to us.

"For us, it is very important that we do not go out of the competition with zero points."

Rapid might have cause to feel a little aggrieved about their current plight, having put up a good fight in several of their matches so far without reward.

In the reverse fixture with Metalist in Ukraine, they had the better of the first half before going down 2-0.

"We can look back on those performances and build on them," goalkeeper Lukas Konigshofer said.

"Even though we have struggled, we have a young squad and we have learned a lot this year."

Rapid, who need to keep one eye on Sunday's league meeting with Wacker Innsbruck as they bid to close a seven-point gap on leaders and rivals Austria Vienna, will again be without Steffen Hofmann and Muhammed Ildiz, while Thomas Prager is also out with injury.

Metalist have nothing to play for besides preserving their unbeaten record in the group.

They are already assured of top spot, with the only points dropped so far coming in the goalless draw away to Bayer Leverkusen in their opening match.

They do not have any major injury concerns, although coach Myron Markevych could mix and match his squad with his side needing to make up ground in the league.



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