Scotland face a huge crunch clash in their hopes to qualify for next year’s winter World Cup in Qatar against Austria at the Ernst Happel Stadion.
Austria’s achieved relative success at EURO 2020 by progressing past the group-stages of a major tournament for the first time since 1982, but they’re already facing an uphill battle to repeat the feat at next year’s World Cup.
Franco Foda’s men are already in desperate need of a victory after a lacklustre start to their qualification campaign with a crushing 5-2 defeat against Israel in the week already leaving their hopes of reaching Qatar hanging by a thread.
Austria need a good result against Scotland here and could really do with a positive showing by their main men David Alaba and Marko Arnautovic to drag themselves back into contention.
Austria v Scotland
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier
19:45 Sky Sports Main Event
(Maximum 10 matches)
MAR 2021 FIFA WORLD CUP Scotland 2-2 Austria
MAY 2007 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Austria 0-1 Scotland
AUG 2005 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Austria 2-2 Scotland
APR 2003 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Scotland 0-2 Austria
APR 1997 FIFA WORLD CUP Scotland 2-0 Austria
AUG 1996 FIFA WORLD CUP Austria 0-0 Scotland
APR 1994 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Austria 1-2 Scotland
OCT 1979 UEFA EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP Scotland 1-1 Austria
SEP 1978 UEFA EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP Austria 3-2 Scotland
NOV 1969 FIFA WORLD CUP Austria 2-0 Scotland
Scotland faced a harder task than they were expecting in their last qualification match against Moldova with Lyndon Dykes’ early strike the only goal of the game against Group F’s supposed ‘whipping boys’.
Although not quite as emphatic as they would have liked, it was a much-needed three points for Scotland after they were defeated by EURO 2020 semi-finalists Denmark in midweek.
On the back of reaching EURO 2020, Steve Clarke and co will be desperate to reach back-to-back tournaments and qualify for next year’s winter World Cup. This game against Austria could well go some way to either making or breaking those dreams.
Clarke will likely be without key man Andrew Robertson, though, who picked up a knock in their last match. Che Adams is also likely to return to the team after the partnership of Dykes and Kevin Nisbet was largely ineffective against Moldova.
With a lot at stake for both teams already, this could well be quite a tight and cagey affair. Austria could really do with a win, but Scotland may well set up cautiously knowing that a draw keeps them in the hot seat for a play-off spot. We’re backing a draw in this one.
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