Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Austria - Ireland

PICK: Austria AH -0,5 @2,02 PINNACLE 4/10
Football / WC Qualifiers / Kick off: 12 Nov 2016; 12:00

It's a match between 4th and 2nd team in Group D. After 3 rounds, Ireland has 7 points while Austria has 4 of them. For Austrians this is more then just important match. If they fail even against Ireland, they're chances to reach spots for WC will be in jeopardy. 

Austria won against Georgia in first round with 1-2. Conceded goal against Georgia was not expected, and Austria is far from form in which they were in Euro qualifiers. I need to admit that  I expected much more from them in Euro, but everything started with red card of Dragović and lost against Hungary in first round of Euro. In those qualifications they played draw against Wales (surprise of Euro), and lost against Serbia, which was not that surprising for me, because Serbian national team is far from bad, but they have other problems. Austrians will miss Junuzović, whose replacement will be Schöpf who scored 2 goals in 520 minutes for Schalke in Bundesliga (Junuzović scored once in 799 minutes and is far from good form in this season), so I am not seeing this as big blow for home team. As mentioned, Austria at home needs a good result and I think that they have enough quality to reach it.

Ireland is coming in this match with two big missing's - Shane Long and James McCharthy. They are maybe even key players of Ireland team, and without them team won't be the same. Long is first striker of country after Robbie Keane left, while James is irreplaceable in defensive midfield duo with Stoke's Whelan. It's true that momentally they are on 2nd place, but they got 6 points from matches against Georgia and Moldova. They didn't lose in Serbia, but they were pretty poor side there, and they can be really happy with point from Belgrade.

Austria will be the team who will control the game - for example Serbians took more than 60% of possession in match against Ireland, while Austrians took more then 60% in match against Serbia - both matches in Belgrade. It's true that there fact could be irrelevant but already Alaba is player who can make difference in midfield with calm playing, accurate passings, etc. As said many times, I am confident that more possession will bring more chances, and only way where I can find Ireland dangerous are set-pieces and also there Austrians have some pretty good players in aerial duels, so I think that facts are more or less on home side and odds above 2 looks value.

FT: 0-1

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