Austria vs Poland
I’ve got to be honest, us fans.
As European Championship qualifying groups go, this is the one that least excites me.
Yet for one of these very inconsistent nations, the chance to play a part in next year’s big international tournament – Euro 2020 – is a major incentive and a realistic target.
After some barren years, Austria qualified for Euro 2016 and even managed to hold eventual European champions Portugal to a goalless draw but failed to progress beyond the group stages.
Poland had a successful tournament and were unbeaten until the quarter-finals where they only lost to Portugal in a penalty shoot-out.
Fast forward to last year’s World Cup and Poland had a miserable time of it, losing all three games.
Their unsuccessful time continued in recent months.
As for Austria, they didn’t even qualify, although they had a moment to savour with a 2-1 victory over then-world champions Germany last summer.
Given the recent inconsistencies of both countries, this group gives them a real chance of progress and a chance to create some of the Euro 2020 news goes, even if there are no guarantees.
There is no doubt Poland are the favourites to top the group, despite their unconvincing streak of form.
They have drawn three and lost three of their last six games played, and their most recent, a 1-1 draw against Portugal in the Nations League, was the only goal they had scored in three matches.
Yet they retain big attacking threats with the in-form Robert Lewandowski needing no introduction and recently becoming the Bundesliga’s all-time top foreign scorer.
As well as Lewandowski, there’s AC Milan’s Krzysztof Piatek, who has had a good first few months of 2019 in Serie A, and Arkadiusz Milik.
Poland know that with Austria and Slovenia being their toughest opponents on paper, a good start in this one could shape their qualifying campaign.
Austria have a dangerous marksman of their own.
West Ham United’s talisman Marko Arnautovic is expected to lead the line, while his club team-mate Lukasz Fabianski will start in goal.
Julian Baumgartlinger is an experienced campaigner who leads the team out and is currently enjoying a good season with Bayer Leverkusen, while there is also Bayern Munich star David Alaba.
The majority of Austria’s players ply their trade in Europe’s top leagues, especially in the Bundesliga, where many of them are integral members of their clubs’ starting line-ups.
Moreover, they are undefeated in their last three at home, including victories over Sweden and Northern Ireland, and have not conceded in any of their last three at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion.
There are clearly matchwinners on both sides. Now what they need is consistency.
This is the first meeting between these nations for more than a decade.
That came in Euro 2008 when their group match finished 1-1.
It was in Vienna where Ivica Vastic’s last-gasp penalty earned the co-hosts of the tournament a draw after Roger Guerreiro had put Poland in front.
It was the sole point for both as they bowed out of the group stage.
Before that, the sides had met in qualifying for the 2006 World Cup when Poland recorded 3-1 and 3-2 victories.
Overall, Austria have only won two of their seven meetings. Both were friendlies, in 1977 and 1994, when Peter Stoger netted a hat-trick in a 4-3 success.
Poland have triumphed in four with the sole draw coming in their most recent meeting.
|Austria vs Poland||Correct Score 1-1 @ 5.20|
|March 22 03:45 (GMT+8)|
Austria have the edge with our Euro 2020 betting odds. They are priced 1X2 @ 2.34, with Poland @ 2.94 and the draw – remember this has only happened once in seven meetings – @ 3.20.
For Poland to lead at the break, how about First Half 1X2 @ 3.60 or Austria @ 2.90?
Asian Handicap betting throws up some attractive bets: you can get -0.25 Austria @ 2.00 and -0.50 Austria @ 2.35, while Poland 0.00 @ 2.29 will catch the eye of many.
First Half Asian Handicap has Austria -0.25 @ 2.42 and Poland 0.00 @ 2.16 – again at very tempting odds.
Over 2.50 goals will payout @ 2.26, total goal 0-1 @ 2.52 and total goal 2-3 @ 1.83.
A solitary 1-0 home win is available @ 6.00, a 1-0 away victory @ 8.00 and a goalless draw also @ 7.00 which shows you how evenly matched this is expected to be.
I am going to set my stall on a correct score of 1-1 @ 5.20.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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