Sofia vs Rapid Vienna Preview

Sofia vs Rapid Vienna Preview


Rapid Vienna coach Peter Pacult will not risk captain Steffen Hofmann for the trip to CSKA Sofia.

This is a must-win encounter if the Austrian side are to keep alive their Europa League hopes.
The 30-year-old midfielder has been troubled by a groin injury for several months and has played through the pain barrier, but Pacult believes the German needs to rest for the good of his career.
Hofmann will, therefore, not play tomorrow when Group L's bottom two teams - neither of whom have picked up a point so far - go head to head in Bulgaria.
"Steffen has needed a break for a long time," Pacult told weekly Austrian sports magazine SportWoche.
"For the time after his five-day hospital stay, we went down a different path. Now we must be careful.
"Steffen is also struggling with other problems. He has not trained much and has match fatigue. He lacks the body condition and could pick up a serious injury.
"We will not risk him.
"It is no longer just about the autumn or spring, but his future career."
Both sides head into the encounter at Stadion Vasil Levski in the bottom halves of their respective domestic leagues and looking to register their first points of the Europa League campaign.
Rapid went down 3-0 at Porto in their opener before losing 2-1 at home to Besiktas, while CSKA have yet to score a goal in the pool having suffered two 1-0 defeats - first at Besiktas and then at home to Porto.
CSKA coach Gjore Jovanovski has found himself under increased pressure lately, with reports suggesting the club could be looking to re-appoint former boss Stoycho Mladenov, who won two league titles over two spells with the club.
But Mladenov, who currently coaches ENPPI Club in Egypt, insists he has not been approached for a third stint.
He told Sofia newspaper Tema Sport: "It is improper to comment on the coaching post at the moment. The team has a coach and I will not discuss his properties.
"So far no-one from CSKA has spoken to me."


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