Where does the Austrian national football team really stand 64 days before the first match of the European Championship against Northern Macedonia? This question will be answered in today’s World Cup qualifier against Denmark (8.45pm, first ORF).
Of the (friendly) international matches against Germany and Brazil in 2018, you have not played against such a strong opponent. Twelfth place in the world rankings brought the Danes a place in Pot 1 in the draw. In reality, the Danes are currently among the top 10 in terms of performance.
The Austrian team is already “losing what is forbidden”. Because a minus of five points will be very difficult to make up against this opponent. Just winning the group would be enough for a quick promotion. This part is a real “hardness test” for FB selection. Even if a friendly match against England is on the program just before the European Championship.
The line for FB team boss Franc Fodu is narrow if the finish of the match against the Danes, who are undefeated in the qualifiers for the European Championship and World Cup since the autumn of 2016, were a draw. Foda’s recipe: “We have to act compact and have their wingers under control, there’s a lot of work on our back defenders. We also have to develop our game on the offensive.”
LASK goalkeeper Alexander Schlager probably returned to the goal. Gernot Trauner will only be a problem for the central defense if team boss Foda sets up a three-way defense. It was more likely, however, 4-2-3-1, and Sasa Kalajdzic was the only advice.
Guests come to Vienna rested. With the exception of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, the entire starting eleven were spared after a 2-0 victory over Israel. The second set also managed to win 8-0 over Moldova on Wednesday. That says a lot about Danish quality.
Current FB captain David Alaba is looking forward to the duel: “We all love games like this. Maybe we play at that level for games like this. Our starting position is fine, even if we missed the 2-2 points Scotland have.”
The Danish Eriksen engine does not work without problems
David Alaba has great respect for Christian Eriksen. “He and Torhter Kasper Schmeichel are already world class.” However, Eriksen also has a low level behind him.
Its market value has fallen significantly in recent months. Since moving to AC Milan last year, the 29-year-old has never really succeeded. After 51 goals in the English Premier League, he managed only one goal in Italy.
The former Tottenham player has already been given the transfer flop label, the problems with coach Antonio Conte were obvious. Meanwhile, Eriksen (unusually defensive) regularly returns to action. However, the goals have not been achieved. Eriksen has also scored in just one of his last five appearances for the national team.
Deputy Head of Sports
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