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Prediction: Austria vs Republic of Ireland

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 21/20

Bookmaker: William Hill

Following back to back setbacks against Wales and Serbia, Austria are under a great deal of pressure at the moment as they will be in all sorts of problems if they fail to beat Republic of Ireland. Martin O’Neill’s side are level on points with group leaders Serbia and they are well aware this is their opportunity to stake a claim for top 2 positions.

Austria

The Austrian national football team have seriously raised its profile over the last few years and they are on the road to become one of Europe’s top sides. Das Team largely impressed in the Euro 2016 qualifiers, but were somewhat unfortunate not to reach the knockout stages at the tournament finals, and that appears to have left the mark on the team. Austria did start the new qualifying campaign with an away triumph over Georgia, but they have since experienced all sorts of problems. Despite playing well, Das Team had to salvage one point at home against Wales as they twice came from behind, before the 3-2 defeat in Serbia saw them slip to fourth in the Group D standings. Marcel Koller’s side missed a host of clear-cut chances in Belgrade as well, meaning they will have to be more ruthless in front of goal if they want ti improve the current position in the overall standings. That will be no easy task considering that Austria now face hard-working Republic of Ireland, who have become experts in defending in numbers, so no wonder that attacking midfielder Martin Harnik confessed that his side would rather face a team with three Zlatan’s than Republic of Ireland at the moment.

Team News

Austria coach Marcel Koller will have to make do without Sebastian Prodl and Zlatko Junuzovic, as they both miss out through injury.

Fulham defender Michael Madl, Red Bull Salzburg full-back Stefan Stangl and Altach goalkeeper Andreas Lukse are the three uncapped footballers in the squad.

Republic of Ireland

Republic of Ireland team have done themselves proud with their performances of late, as they not only qualified for the Euro 2016 finals, but also managed to reach knockout stages and came close to producing a major upset against hosts France. The excellent display at the showpiece tournament clearly served as a major boost ahead of the 2018 World Cup qualifying, and the Irish have so far done really well in what is an incredibly evenly matched group. Republic of Ireland showed a great deal of character to hold revived Serbia to a 2-2 draw in Belgrade, before back to back wins over Georgia and Moldova saw them climb to second in the overall standings. And while they did well not to drop any points against weaker sides in the group, the Boys in Green will have to prove their worth in upcoming qualifiers against Austria and Wales as well if they want to remain in a good position to qualify. Martin O’Neill faces serious attacking problems ahead of the trip to Wien, as he’s got a number of high-profile forwards on the sidelines, but as long as his men do a good job defensively, Ireland will stand a decent chance of avoiding defeat at Ernst-Happel Stadion.

Team News

With Shane Long and Daryl Murphy both unavailable through injury, Colorado Rapids striker Kevin Doyle has been handed a recall.

James McClean and John O’Shea are in contention to play despite struggling through injury, but Eunan O’Kane did not board the plane. Dundalk duo Daryl Hogan and Andy Boyle are in the squad.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Austria won last three home games vs Rep of Ireland
  • Six of their last seven meetings produced at least four goals
  • Austria won just one of last four home fixtures
  • Das Team conceded in last six home games
  • Ireland scored in last five away matches

Conclusion

Austria have been scoring and conceding goals for fun of late and we fully expect the trend to continue. Republic of Ireland will adopt a defence-minded approach, but they will also be looking to catch the out-of-confidence opposition on the break, meaning that both teams to score seems a good option here.

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 21/20

Bookmaker: William Hill

Fri 11 Nov, 2016
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