Monday, July 15, 2024

Prediction: Poland vs Austria

Verdict: Draw

Best odds: 23/10

Bookmaker: ZetBet

Poland and Austria face off at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on Friday evening, both knowing they cannot afford another defeat in Group D.

Both teams started their Euro 2024 campaigns with losses, as Poland suffered a 2-1 defeat to the Netherlands, while Austria were narrowly beaten 1-0 by France.

Poland

When Poland took the lead against the Netherlands on Sunday with a brilliant header from Adam Buksa, it seemed the absence of Robert Lewandowski might not be a major issue. However, Michal Probierz’s team had some good fortune before being pegged back by the half-hour mark, and Wout Weghorst’s winning goal for Oranje was ultimately well-deserved.

Despite the loss, there were positives for Probierz, such as having seven shots on target against high-caliber opposition, though they allowed the Netherlands 21 attempts in response.

This defeat ended Poland’s eight-match unbeaten run, giving Probierz plenty to consider before their trip to Berlin. While the potential return of Robert Lewandowski would be a huge boost, the Eagles must find a way to counter an impressive Austria side under Ralf Rangnick.

Team News

Although Robert Lewandowski is expected to be available for this fixture, Probierz might opt to keep the Barcelona forward on the bench.

Karol Swiderski, who was a late injury worry for the Netherlands game but featured as a substitute, may come into the starting lineup, possibly replacing Kacper Urbanski. Jakub Moder and Bartosz Slisz are also contenders to be introduced in midfield, though Probierz may prefer not to make too many changes.

Austria

Austria’s seven-match unbeaten streak came to an end against France on Monday night. Despite their spirited performance, an own goal by Max Wober in the first half allowed France to secure a narrow victory in Dusseldorf.

The match was overshadowed by Kylian Mbappe suffering a broken nose, diverting attention from Austria’s strong effort, which kept Les Bleus on edge until the final whistle.

Rangnick would have likely considered a draw a satisfactory outcome, with the focus primarily on their remaining group fixtures, but it wasn’t to be.

Historically, Poland and Austria have had a contentious rivalry, but they have only faced each other twice in the past 16 years. Poland won a Euro 2020 qualifier away with a single goal in 2019, and the reverse fixture ended in a draw without any goals.

Team News

Like Probierz, Rangnick may try to resist making many changes to his lineup, but Marko Arnautovic is a strong candidate to return in the attack.

Patrick Wimmer could be introduced on the wing, which would allow Marcel Sabitzer to shift to a central midfield role. However, the defensive setup is likely to stay the same unless there are late fitness concerns.

Conclusion

With both teams needing to strike a balance between avoiding another defeat and seeking a win, a tense match is expected to take place in Berlin. Austria might dominate much of the game, but if Lewandowski returns, as Probierz surely hopes, his presence on the pitch could significantly influence the scoreline, possibly even the outcome.

Verdict: Draw

Best odds: 23/10

Bookmaker: ZetBet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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