Soccer UEFA Euro Qualification - Group Stage
Belgium vs Austria - Match Preview
⚽ 17 June 2023 - 18:45 GMT +0
The new era of the Belgium national team under Domenico Tedesco’s leadership began in fine style with a pair of wins during the last break, yet it remains to be seen if his new-look squad can continue to impress with four debutantes included in the squad. Ever-present forward Romelu Lukaku hailed the new boss at the end of the previous break, stating “Change isn’t bad, as long as the results follow”.
This is simply a must-win game for Belgium, who are seeking a third straight European qualification (ECQ) group-winning campaign, as adversaries Austria currently top the standings after their perfect two-game start. Doing just that would surprise few, not least as Belgium is enjoying an ongoing national record run of eight straight home ECQ victories, each of which saw them score at least three times!
Avoiding defeat here could prove pivotal in Austria’s qualification efforts too, with Sweden lurking in third to pounce upon any mistakes from the current top two. Ralf Rangnick’s men should be better placed to continue their assault on a third straight Euro finals appearance with the return of key men such as David Alaba, yet one must look back through the archives to 1959 to find Austria’s most recent win over Belgium.
Despite their outsider status, the simple fact that Austria has avoided defeat in ten of their previous 12 ECQ away games (W8, D2, L2) speaks volumes about their solidity on the road. That run included positive results against solid footballing nations such as Sweden and Russia, yet they’ve never defeated a top-five ranked nation such as Belgium (#4) away from home this century.
📋 Players to watch: Genk’s Mike Trésor Ndayishimiye is one of the contingents of new faces in this Belgium selection; the attacking midfielder was named Belgian footballer of the year after his unbelievable eight goals and 24 assists in 39 league and play-off appearances in 2022/23 league action. As for Austria, Michael Gregoritsch scored in both games during the last international break and his ten Bundesliga goals helped club side Freiburg to UEFA Europa League qualification.
⚡ Hot stat: Austria has averaged an incredible 2.92 scored goals per game across all historical H2Hs against Belgium (W9, D3, L2).
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