Northern Ireland not only brings back positive memories for the ÖFB team: Today’s UEFA Nations League duel will be about catching up with leaders Bosnia.
Vienna – The UEFA Nations League is still in its infancy. Nevertheless, the Austrian national football team is already waiting for a small final in the second match of the newly created competition today . If you want to make it to the first place in group B3, a victory against Northern Ireland is almost a must.
Apart from the annoying captain discussion around Marko Arnautovic the numerous losses are a constant of the past team training course: After the refusals of Alaba, Grillitsch and Gregoritsch team boss Franco Foda trembles now also around Schalke attacker Guido Burgstaller, who could not participate with muscular problems last in the team training and yesterday with the conclusion training under exclusion of the public still another attempt wanted to start. Spin Princess has an impressive collection of popular games and the place to be for cracking casino fun – from the comfort of your home and wherever you are.
Focus on strikers on both sides
The spotlight will now be on 35-year-old Marc Janko, who has returned to Germany to play against the physically strong and tall Northern Irish, and who could become a hot topic due to his physis and header strength. “Marc in particular is ideal for this game,” confirmed Foda. Nevertheless, Marko Arnautovic will probably start in the storm centre. “I already know Marko from the youth national teams. Therefore I can say that the current Marko is the best of all times”, Stefan Ilsanker injected his colleague with verbal self-confidence once again.
For today, the RB Leipzig Legionnaire expects an “attractive game. It’s always difficult against teams from the island”. But the Northern Irish are not only characterized by physical strength and fighting power, the British with Premier League kickers like Steven Davies (Southampton) and Johnny Evans (Leicester) also celebrate offensive football. This was already evident in the undeserved loss of the Nations-League opening against Bosnia (1:2). The main topic for the Northern Irish journalists, however, was one who was not in Vienna at all: The cancellation of top striker Kyle Lafferty (Glasgow Rangers) hurts. “He’s not more important than anyone else. He just told me that he won’t join the national team,” said a visibly disappointed team boss Martin O’Neill.
Good statistics without Alaba
Austria will definitely miss out on Bavaria star David Alaba, but that doesn’t have to be a leg-breaker in terms of statistics. The last time Austria lost without the 26-year-old on 18 November 2014 in the test against Brazil (1:2). Since then the Viennese has been missing in five international matches – and all of them were won against Russia (1:0), Serbia (3:2), Moldova (1:0), Uruguay (2:1) and Luxembourg (4:0).
Overall, the ÖFB has a negative balance against the British: Four defeats face three draws and two wins. One of these “threesomes” took place exactly 13 years ago at the last meeting in the Ernst Happel Stadium. The 2:0 victory in the 2006 World Cup qualifier under interim coach Willi Ruttensteiner was achieved by two players (Ronald Gercaliu, Andreas Dober), who are currently finishing their careers in Schwaz and Wattens, respectively.
Before that, there had already been the spectacular 3:3 in Belfast with Roland Kirchler, head of the Tyrolean academy, on the pitch in the first leg, which resulted in a TV interview with the then team boss Hans Krankl (“Mir is’ das so wurst. This team is colossal”) to achieve cult status. Time to write new stories. Best already today on the grass of the Ernst-Happel-Stadion.