Thursday, April 25, 2024

Prediction: Slovakia vs Austria

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 22 Mar 2024

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Verdict: Draw

Best odds: 23/10

Bookmaker: Betfair

Both Slovakia and Austria are intensifying their preparations for the upcoming European Championships by facing off in an international friendly at Stadion Tehelne Pole.

The Falcons aim to build on their impressive form from the latter part of 2023, while Das Team also seek to maintain their strong performance as they gear up for a challenging group stage encounter against Germany in the summer.

Slovakia

Slovakia kick off their 2024 international calendar on a high note following a successful end to their Euro qualifying campaign. Three consecutive victories against Luxembourg, Iceland, and Bosnia-Herzegovina secured their spot at the tournament in Germany.

Their last match in Group J took them to Stadion Bilino Polje, where they secured a narrow victory in Zenica, with goals from Robert Bozenik and Lubomir Satka, concluding the section with 22 points from 10 matches.

Coach Francesco Calzona is optimistic about Slovakia’s prospects at the Euros, considering their impressive record in 2023, having lost only to one of the tournament favourites, Portugal. The team’s most recent defeat before those encounters was against Azerbaijan in September.

Looking ahead to the summer tournament, Slovakia find themselves in a challenging group with Belgium, Romania, and the winner of play-off path B. Despite the tough competition, Calzona’s squad is confident in their ability to advance to the knockout stage.

Recent meetings between Slovakia and Austria have lacked excitement, with the last two matches ending in goalless draws in June 2021 and November 2016. The Falcons’ last victory over Das Team dates back to August 2011.

Team News

Slovakia will be missing Milan Skriniar due to an ankle injury, but the Paris Saint-Germain defender is expected to recover in time for the Euros, unless there are further fitness setbacks.

Another Falcons defender, Denis Vavro of Copenhagen, will be sidelined until early April. Vavro has represented his national side 19 times since his debut in December 2016.

Austria

Austria also enter this friendly aiming to extend their winning streak to four matches across all competitions. They secured victories over Azerbaijan, Estonia, and notably Germany before the end of the previous calendar year.

Despite facing challenges during his interim tenure at Manchester United, Ralf Rangnick, often regarded as one of the sharpest minds in European football, has enjoyed success as the manager of Das Team. Under his guidance, Austria have won 10 out of their opening 18 matches, with only five losses.

Having secured qualification to Euro 2024 in October, Austria approached their friendly against neighboring Germany in November with a relaxed mindset. Goals from Marcel Sabitzer and Christoph Baumgartner secured a historic back-to-back win against Die Mannschaft for the first time since the 1930s.

Facing an elite European opponent at the end of 2023 was significant for Das Team, especially considering their tough Euro 2024 group, where they are placed alongside 2022 World Cup finalists France, the Netherlands, and potentially Rob Page’s Wales from play-off path A.

Austria have performed admirably in their recent away matches, winning four and drawing one of their last five games across all competitions. Their most recent away defeat occurred at the Stade de France in the 2022/23 UEFA Nations League in September 2022, where they fell to a 2-0 loss against Didier Deschamps’s side, with Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud finding the net.

Team News

Austria faced a significant setback in December when captain David Alaba suffered a cruciate ligament tear while playing for Real Madrid. This unfortunate injury has ruled him out for the rest of the campaign and potentially for Euro 2024.

Manprit Sarkaria finds himself in a similar situation as he works towards recovery from a broken ankle. The winger sustained this injury during Sturm Graz’s 3-0 loss to Lille earlier this month.

In addition, Das Team will be without the services of former Stoke City attacker Marko Arnautovic during this international break due to a hamstring injury.

Conclusion

With both teams without a star defender, while being on good form overall, a well-balanced contest between two good teams is to be expected, and with no competitive edge to the clash, a draw seems a feasible outcome.

Verdict: Draw

Best odds: 23/10

Bookmaker: Betfair

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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