Austria welcome Scotland to Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna in a crunch Group F clash as both teams look to continue their Qualifying campaign in search of a place at 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Victory would lift Austria above Scotland into third., whereas a win would see Scotland climb to second if Israel lose away to Denmark in Copenhagen.
Austria will be without Marcel Sabitzer due to a groin injury, which ruled him out of their first two matches of this international window against Moldova and Israel.
Julian Baumgartlinger withdrew from the squad last week with a knee injury.
Scotland will be without Ryan Fraser, Kenny McLean and Nathan Patterson after the trio all withdrew from the squad prior to the trip.
Hibernian’s Paul McGinn has been called up as the only replacement player.
Andrew Robertson has been included in the squad despite being withdrawn from Saturday’s win over Moldova with a knock.
- Austria have won just one of five previous World Cup qualifiers against Scotland (W1, D2, L2).
- Scotland are winless in two previous away World Cup qualifiers against Austria (D1, L1). plus are winless in their last four away visits across all competitions to Austria (D2, L2).
- Three of Austria’s last six goals in all competitions have been scored by Christoph Baumgartner.
- Scotland have lost just one of four away matches in 2021 across all competitions (W1, D2, L1).
- This is the first match involving both teams to be refereed by Georgi Kabakov.
Austria will come into this match looking to bounce back from their defensive meltdown in Israel on Saturday, which was quite uncharacteristic of this Austrian team against that type of opposition but they have scored twice in two consecutive games so will pose a stern threat here.
Scotland can certainly take plenty of heart from a dominant win over Moldova because they were simply excellent on the front foot throughout as well as defensively, despite unluckily wasting several chances through little fault of their own despite solid finishing.
On that note, this should be an interesting yet crucial contest in the race for second in Group F because Austria will be favourites, yet their defensive calamity in Israel leaves them vulnerable to a Scotland team full of confidence and looking to get on the front foot early on.
I however suspect that the first goal will be key because if Scotland get it then I can see a score draw if not away win.
Prediction: Austria 1-1 Scotland
Result: Austria 0-1 Scotland