Tips & Predictions

Alaba aims for knockout stages

Austria have been on a steady rise in the last decade. After qualifying as hosts for their first European Championships in 2008, they reached the group stages in 2016 and the quarter-final stage at Euro 2020, where they were eliminated by eventual champions Italy after extra time.

Under maverick manager Ralf Rangnick, Das Team have gone from strength to strength and will arrive in Germany under the radar, with a real chance of spoiling the narrative.

 

They beat hosts Germany 2-0 in November, who were in the early days of Julian Nagelsmann’s tenure, and more recently made short work of everyone’s favourite dark horse Turkey, beating them 6-1 in March.

They will do well to get past powerhouses France and the Netherlands in Group C. But they did manage a draw against Deschamps’ side in the Nations League in 2022 and only lost once in qualifying so you would be crazy to count them out immediately.

 

MANAGER: Ralf Rangnick

CAPTAIN: David Alaba leads his nation into a major tournament for the second time having first taken the armband in 2017.

STAR PLAYER: With the captain in defence, Rangnick will look to Marcel Sabitzer to provide the threat in attack. The former Man United loanee had a solid season at Borussia Dortmund and is backed up by fellow Bundesliga talent in Freiburg striker Michael Gregoritsch.

HOW THEY GOT THERE: Rangnick’s side finished second in qualifying, winning six out of eight and losing only one game to group winners Belgium.

HOW WILL THEY DO: Austria are in a tough group and will do well to qualify ahead of one of the favourites to go all the way. But this is tournament football where anything can happen so if they get a result against France in game one, they could reach the knockouts.

BEST BET: It is a bold shout, but I would stick my neck out to say Austria to reach the quarter-finals. France and the Netherlands face off in game two which could put Austria in the driving seat against Poland before needing a result against the Dutch in the final match. With three third-place teams qualifying for the knockouts, it is not impossible.

Austria’s EURO 2024 FIXTURES

Group D

Monday, Jun 17: Austria v France, 8pm (Merkur Spiel Arena, Düsseldorf)
Friday, Jun 21: Poland v Austria, 5pm (Olympiastadion, Berlin)
Tuesday, Jun 25: Netherlands v Austria, 5pm (Olympiastadion, Berlin)

Austria’s Euro 2024 SQUAD

Rangnick is still to confirm his final Austria squad ahead of the June 6 deadline.

 

Read More on Euro 2024

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