With the confidence of winning against Israel, the Austrian football team wants to count in Slovenia.
At a time when war rhetoric still dominated the sport, people would talk about winning the battle. This is by no means synonymous with winning the war. Franco Foda set it more calm after Thursday's 3-1 win over Israel: "We haven't achieved anything yet, our starting position has improved, but we have to reload in Slovenia."
If meeting with Israel was previously considered a key par excellence game, then the showdown in Ljubljana (Sunday, 8.45pm, live in ORF 1) has become at least as important. Team boss Ales Cech is fighting for a final chance to get a direct European Championship card after defeating Northern Macedonia 1-2. On the other hand, Austria is one step away from taking the penultimate step to the last round. Three points each Sunday and November at home against Northern Macedonia would definitely be enough for one of the first two places.
Marko Arnautović et al. They do not want to make budgets, but focus entirely on the task against the Slovenes. And with "110 percent," as Valentino Lazaro stressed. The initial 1-0 victory in June was hard work, with victories against Poland and Israel the outsider unexpectedly returned to the race. Caution advised, Group G has already brought some surprises.
But the momentum is clear after four wins and draws from the last five qualifying matches with the Austrians. The victory over Andreas Herzog's selection of ÖFB national team not only earned three points, but also boosted confidence. The expected start minutes and the assignment of Eran Zahavi brought the team out of the concept. In the end, even the critical audience reconciled and delighted the celebrator. "The team is mentally strong and solid, and we have proven we can bring back setbacks," said Capt. Julian Baumgartlinger.
Staying with the war picture: the day after the victory against Israel, the wounded were cared for. The stratification of David Alaba is not possible, since the Bayern star against Israel in Slovenia had to cancel a heavy heart after a rib injury. Friday's question marks are still behind the use of these three ÖFB players, Franco Foda had to replace the day before. However, Stefan Posch, Konrad Laimer and Marko Arnautovic were again cautiously optimistic.
Franco Foda was not afraid that he might have to send Notelf to Ljubljana. "You don't come to EM with eleven players, but you always need 23. Everybody has to be mission-ready," the team chief said. Already, the occupation of Israel has shown breadth and versatility in the team. Players like Valentino Lazaro or Konrad Laimer shone in unknown positions.
An alternative for Poscha is Christopher Trimmel. He came on Thursday after a nine-year break from the ÖFB team for his fourth international appearance. "If that comes up, I'll do my best to meet the coaches' default settings," Union right back said. "But to be honest, I wish Poschi would fit in." This spirit attracts the team boss. Says Foda: "We have a big goal in mind, so it's all about putting things together, as a team you can be successful, as the team is currently showing."
|the third||Northern Macedonia||7||3||2||2||10: 9||11|
The rest of the teams program
Poland: Northern Macedonia (H / 13 October), Israel (A / 16 November), Slovenia (H / 19 November).
Slovenia: Austria (H / October 13), Latvia (H / November 16), Poland (A / November 19).
Austria: Slovenia (A / 13 October), Northern Macedonia (H / 16 November), Latvia (A / 19 November).
Northern Macedonia: Poland (A / 13 October), Austria (A / 16 November), Israel (H / 19 November).
Israel: Latvia (H / 15 October), Poland (H / 16 November), Northern Macedonia (A / 19 November).