Israel vs Austria Preview 04/09/2021
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Israel are coming off of a World Cup qualifying 4-0 win over the Faroe Islands on Wednesday night. Now, Israel turn their attention to Austria in a massive fixture on Saturday in Haifa.
Austria are also coming off of a big win in World Cup qualifying. The Austrians defeated Moldova 2-0 thanks to goals from Christoph Baumgartner and Marko Arnautovic. The two World Cup qualifying Group F teams are deadlocked on seven points apiece after four games.
📍 Chisinau ⏭ 📍 Tel Aviv
🚌 🔜 Haifa pic.twitter.com/mvPocFAHRf
— ÖFB – oefb.at (@oefb1904) September 2, 2021
Denmark are the pacesetters in Group F with 12 points from 12 possible. As it stands, the Danes are likely to qualify for the World Cup 2022 as group winners. The rest of the group’s five teams are now battling it out for the playoff qualification place.
The winner of Saturday’s match in Haifa between Israel and Austria will have the inside track to finishing second. However, both teams will have one eye on Scotland, who have five points from 12 after losing 2-0 to Denmark on Wednesday.
Israel have had a solid start to World Cup qualifying. A matchday 1 loss to Denmark was followed by A 1-1 draw with Scotland. Since then, Israel have defeated Moldova and the Faroe Islands by a combined 8-1 scoreline. It should be noted that Moldova and the Faroe Islands are Group F’s weakest teams.
Austria drew 2-2 with Scotland before defeating the Faroe Islands 3-1. A 4-0 loss to Denmark followed but was followed up with Wednesday night’s 2-0 win over Moldova.
Israel and Austria have played 12 times dating back to 1962. Austria have dominated the teams’ series of games with a record of 5W-5D-3L. The teams last met in 2019 during Euro 2020 qualifying. They split the two matches with Austria winning at home and Israel claiming a victory on home soil.
After winning 2-0 against Moldova, Austria coach Franco Foda has no reason to change the starting XI. Baumgartner should start once more and Arnautovic is likely to play as one of the team’s two strikers.
Foda did not have experienced midfielder Marcel Sabitzer for the Moldova game. The Bayern Munich player was not called up due to an injury. Captain Julian Baumgartner and Xaver Schlager were also not included due to injury.
PSV Eindhoven striker Eran Zahavi scored a hat-trick against the Faroe Islands. He will likely start in attack once more. Liel Abada is one player to watch for Israel. He moved to Scotland’s Celtic in the offseason and hit the ground running in front of goal.
It is a must win game for these sides in the race for second place in Group F. Austria hold the advantage in the teams’ all-time meetings. Can they get a sixth win in 14 tries?
Austria should get the win in a close game. Expect both teams to score and over 2.5 goals as the Austrians claim victory away from home.