Third-division SV Austria Salzburg face FC Salzburg in the Austrian Cup on Tuesday and the underdogs will not be short of motivation when they take on the Bundesliga champions.
A derby match unlike any other will be the focus of Austrian football this week as Red Bull Salzburg travel to minnows Austria Salzburg in the Austrian Cup.
Austria Salzburg were formed in 2005 by fans who were unhappy with the takeover and rebranding of the original Austria Salzburg by the drinks manufacturer Red Bull.
Rebranded, stripped of their name and colours, Austria Salzburg supporters rebelled against the takeover by the sports drink giant, forming their own phoenix club at the very bottom of the Austrian football pyramid.
They have now risen to the level where they hope to compete with the conglomerate spawned from their ashes. A derby almost two decades in the making, there is sure to be a ferocious atmosphere when the local rivals meet for the first time.
Red Bull Salzburg, or RB Salzburg as they are also known, have dominated Austrian football over the past two decades, winning 10 consecutive Bundesliga titles, but the 1/28 shots will face some fired-up opponents in their second-round cup clash at the Untersberg-Arena.
|What||SV Austria Salzburg v FC Salzburg|
|Where||Untersberg-Arena, Grodig, Austria|
|When||19:45, Tuesday 26th September|
|How to watch||bet365's European Soccer Live Streaming Highlights|
|Odds||SV Austria Salzburg 33/1, Draw 16/1, FC Salzburg 1/28|
The original Austria Salzburg enjoyed a golden period in the early 1990s, winning the Austrian title three times and reaching the final of the UEFA Cup in 1993/94 when they lost 2-0 on aggregate to Inter Milan.
However, Red Bull bought the club in 2005, changing its name from Austria Salzburg to Red Bull Salzburg and replacing the traditional violet-and-white kit with a red-and-white uniform.
This rebranding exercise enraged some supporters, accusing Red Bull of desecrating the clubs history, they decided to launch a splinter club and took the clubs original name, Austria Salzburg, with them.
The new club started life in the seventh division of Austrian football and has worked its way up to tier three, earning a second-round cup tie at home to all-conquering Red Bull Salzburg this week.
Austria Salzburg are 33/1 to claim a famous victory at the Untersberg-Arena in the first meeting against their new rivals.
Tuesday's high-profile encounter takes place at the underdogs' home ground, the My Phone Austria Stadion, which has a capacity of just 1,600.
The third-division team come into this historic fixture in fine form, having won their four home matches in this season's Regionalliga by 4-1, 3-0, 3-1 and 9-0 scorelines, but they face a colossal step up in class against RB Salzburg.
Red Bull's advertising slogan claims that the energy drink "gives you wings" and FC Salzburg's fortunes have certainly soared since the 2005 takeover.
From the very start of the project, the new owners focused on developing young talent and Salzburg won the UEFA Youth League in 2016/17, beating a Benfica side featuring future Portugal stars Ruben Dias and Joao Felix 2-1 in the final.
By that stage, the senior side was already the dominant force in Austria, winning the Bundesliga in 2006/07, 2008/09, 2009/10 and 2011/12.
Their run of 10 straight Bundesliga titles started in 2013/14 and they have lifted the Austrian Cup nine times in the past 12 seasons.
Salzburg have also been competitive in European competitions, knocking out Real Sociedad, Borussia Dortmund and Lazio on their way to the 2017/18 Europa League semi-finals, where they lost to Marseille in extra-time.
They have reached the Champions League group stage in each of the past five seasons, qualifying from a group containing Sevilla, Lille and Wolfsburg in 2021/22 before an 8-2 aggregate defeat to Bayern Munich in the last 16.
Austrian champions RB Salzburg made a winning start to this season's Champions League Group D campaign, beating a Benfica side managed by their former coach Roger Schmidt 2-0 in Lisbon on matchday one.
However, their 37-match unbeaten run in the Bundesliga ended with a 1-0 home defeat to Blau-Weiss Linz on Saturday – a result that could provide a glimmer of hope for Austria Salzburg supporters dreaming of a cup giant-killing act.
Realistically, Salzburg should outclass their hosts – a 4-0 win for the favourites is 7/1 with 5-0 at 8/1 in the Correct Score betting – and their production line of world-class talents is impressive.
Their 2023/24 crop includes Croatian youngsters Luka Sucic and Roko Simic as well as prolific Mali striker Sekou Koita and Ivorian forward Karim Konate.
Israel midfielder Oscar Gloukh scored against England in the final of the European Under-19 Championship last year and has already bagged three goals in eight caps for the senior team.
Danish midfielder Maurits Kjaergaard, Serbian forward Peter Ratkov and France Under-19 international Lucas Gourna-Douath are among the other prospects hoping to follow in the footsteps of illustrious Salzburg graduates such as Erling Haaland, Sadio Mane, Dayot Upamecano and Dominik Szoboszlai.
However, the immediate aim for these potential superstars is to avoid a cup shock against an Austria Salzburg side who would love to inflict a humiliating defeat on the champions on Tuesday.