WC Qualifying: Sweden-Austria Preview

By Aydin Reyhan
Photo courtesy of David Alaba’s official Facebook page

This match may not seem appealing on paper without any knowledge of what is at stake. These two sides literally have it all to play for this Friday as Sweden are only three points ahead of the Austrians with two games remaining in this World Cup Qualifying group.

Well, things just got a bit more interesting.

Austria has scored two more goals than Sweden while both nations have allowed a total of eight. Their goal ratios are as follows:

Austria: 16 for, 8 allowed

Sweden: 14 for, 8 allowed

Therefore, if Austria can defeat the Swedes in Solna, they can match them on points and still be ahead on goal differential.

The first match ended 2-1 in Austria’s favor on home soil back in June of this year. Winning away from home against a tough side will not be easy, but it can be done with their German style of playing. In fact, they only lost 2-1 at home to Germany when they faced off last year due to several missed chances and saves from the opposing keeper. If they hit the ground running against Sweden, they can all but clinch a play-off spot for November.

Their best player is none other than young wing back David Alaba who will have to find a way to motivate his team to a victory that is crucial in their hopes of advancing to the final round before the biggest tournament of their lives. If he is on his game, the rest of his teammates should follow and make things happen.

Prediction: Sweden 1, Austria 1

The match will end in a draw with both sides simply trying to score but will end up missing here and there. This will favor the visitors as four days later will bring Germany to Sweden in a then must-win game. As for Austria, they will visit the Faroe Islands, a team they had crushed by a score of 6-0. They will win that game.

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