There’s a crucial Group D 2018 World Cup qualifying match this Saturday, November 12th at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion in Vienna, where Austria will be hosting the Republic of Ireland. Ireland comes into the contest following a 3-1 road win in Moldova in October while Austria was edged 3-2 in Serbia. Ireland is tied for first place in the group with Serbia at seven points while Wales sits in third spot with five points. Austria occupies fourth position with four points with Georgia in fifth with one point and Moldova is in the basement with no points.
Austria vs Republic of Ireland – bet365 Soccer Betting Line:
- bet365 currently lists Austria as the favorites to win the game at 1/1 with Ireland 14/5 and a draw at 23/10
Austria vs Republic of Ireland – Head to Head:
- These two countries last met in Austria in September of 2013 in a 2014 World Cup qualifier with the home side winning 1-0. Austria is unbeaten in their last eight meetings with six wins and two draws. Ireland’s last win came at home in 1963 when they downed the visitors 3-2 in a 1964 European Championship qualifier. Overall, they’ve played each other 14 times in the past with Austria winning nine, losing two and drawing the other three.
Austria – A Closer Look:
Austria enters the game as the 30th ranked nation in the world by FIFA. They’re currently in fourth position in Group D with four points from a wind, draw and a loss. They’ve scored six goals and allowed six against up to now. Austria has just one win in their last six games in all competitions along with three defeats and two draws. Austria edged Georgia 2-1 on the road in their group opener. Martin Hinteregger gave them the lead after 16 minutes and Marc Janko doubled the score in the 42nd minute. Georgia pulled one back when Jano Ananidze scored with 12 minutes to go.
The Austrians drew Wales 2-2 in their second match. Joe Allen opened the scoring for Wales in the 22nd minute, but Marko Arnautovic leveled the score just six minutes later. Wales went ahead just before the halftime whistle when Kevin Wimmer of Austria scored an own goal. Arnautovic then earned the Austrians a point when he tied the contest just three minutes into the second half. Austria dropped their third game in Serbia 3-2 just three days later. Aleksandar Mitrovic scored for Serbia in the second and 23rd minutes with Dusan Tadic netting the winner in the 74th. Marcel Sabitzer scored for Austria in the 16th minute and Marc Janko tallied the other in the 62nd minute.
Republic of Ireland – A Closer Look:
The Republic of Ireland enters the weekend’s game ranked number 33 in the world by FIFA. They sit in a first-place tie with Serbia in Group D with seven points from two victories and a draw with six goals scored and three allowed. They’re second in the standings since Serbia owns a better goal difference. Ireland has four wins, a loss and a draw in their past half dozen outings with two straight wins. They opened their qualifying tournament with a 2-2 draw in Serbia in September. Jeff Hendrick put Ireland ahead after just three minutes, but Filip Kostic made it 1-1 in the 62nd minute. Dusan Tadic then gave Serbia the lead with a 69th-minute penalty shot only to see Ireland pull it back when Daryl Murphy found the back of the net with 10 minutes remaining in the contest.
The Irish faced Georgia at home in their second encounter and took all three points with a 1-0 victory. Seamus Coleman scored the only goal of the game in the 56th minute. They then rebounded with another win a few days later when they took care of Moldova 3-1 on the road. Shane Long gave Ireland the early lead after just two minutes, but Igor Bugaiov tied matters in first half injury time. James McClean regained the lead for Ireland in the 69th minute and added an insurance marker with his second of the contest seven minutes later.
Austria vs Republic of Ireland – Takeaway:
This is a must-win if Ireland wants to hang onto or take sole possession of first place in the group. Austria has already dropped five points and can’t afford to lose any more if they hope to contend for top spot.
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by Ian S. Palmer