Austria will have a mountain to climb at the start of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers seeing the play host to Germany, arguably one of world’s best national teams.
Having been unsuccessful in their last six qualifying campaigns, das Team cannot be too optimistic about their chances of making the tournament finals, especially after being placed in the group with three Euro 2012 participants.
Nevertheless, new boss Marcelo Koller seems to have finally restored some order in the national team, with friendly victories over Finland, Ukraine and Turkey proving he is on the right track.
Given that Austria are unbeaten in 2012, odds of 3.20 (11/5) offered at 888sport on the hosts not to lose could be taken into consideration.
The hosts have some important missings at the moment, with Bayern Munich hotshot David Alaba ruled out with a foot injury, while Paul Scharner has been overlooked after clashing with the boss ahead of team’s previous international.
Bundesliga-based players Christian Fuchs, Emanuel Pogatetz, Martin Harnik and Marko Arnautovic are all expected to start.
Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Almer – Garics, Prodl, Pogatetz, Suttner – Baumgartlinger, Kavlak – Ivanschitz, Harnik, Fuchs – Arnautovic.
Germany have a lot to prove after the disappointing exit from the Euro 2012, seeing they had been considered one of the main candidates for the trophy.
In spite of the under-par showings in Poland and Ukraine, nobody can doubt the fact that die Mannschaft are one of the strongest national teams in Europe, and no wonder they are just 1.22 (2/9) with Ladbrokes to win their 2014 World Cup qualifying group.
Following the 3-0 victory over Faroe Islands, Joachim Low’s side are likely to be in for a much tougher task in Austria, but online bookmakers don’t seem to think that is the case, given that Betfair pays just 1.40 (2/5) on away win.
The talented coach has urged his players to be more ruthless in front of goal after missing a host of clear-cut chances in the previous game, but that doesn’t mean that the starting line-up will undergo major changes.
Lukas Podolski and Lars Bender could be drafted into the starting line-up, but Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sven Bender remain sidelined.
Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Neuer – Lahm, Mertesacker, Hummels, Badstuber – Khedira, Bender – Reus, Ozil, Podolski – Klose.