Austria v Hungary: Expert v Expert Preview


Day five brings with it just two games, allowing you to dart off from work early and enjoy both in total comfort.

First up is the match many are calling the Franz Ferdinand derby (one for all you GCSE history buffs) and sees a tournament dark horse in Austria clash with one of the competition's least fancied sides in Hungary. We spoke to the chaps behind famed Austrian football account @SchnitzelSoccer and Hungarian connoisseur Tomasz Mortimer to see what to expect from the two teams.

 

TEAM NEWS

@SchnitzelSoccer on Austria: First things first: Austria will start the tournament with no major injury complaints. Marc Janko had a little problem with his thigh, but everyone should be available against Hungary. That's why Marcel Koller will stick to his first eleven, although some players have struggled lately.

Martin Harnik and Florian Klein, for instance, still seem to suffer from their relegation with VfB Stuttgart. Nevertheless, they will form a partnership on the right wing, even though some fans would like to see Schalke's Alessandro Schöpf or Leipzig's Marcel Sabitzer as a right winger in Austria's 4-2-3-1.

In contrast, Austria's left side is in great shape. Christian Fuchs and Marko Arnautovic both had a great season. Together with David Alaba they should be Austria's most dangerous attacking force. Watch out, Hungary!

Tomasz Mortimer on Hungary: Tamas Kadar is the only player doubtful for Hungary. Their first choice left back limped out of training with a suspected twisted ankle on Sunday, which will be a worry for Bernd Storck, who would have to call in the relatively inexperienced Mihaly Korhut. At right back, Attila Fiola from Puskas Akademia will continue, with Videoton’s Adam Lang and Richard Guzmics of Wisla Krakow likely to start at centre back.

In midfield, Hungary’s young star Adam Nagy will start as part of two in front of the defence with one of Akos Elek, Adam Pinter or the well renowned Zoltan Gera to accompany him. Laszlo Kleinheisler, Hungary’s playoff hero, will start as a number 10 with captain Balazs Dzsudzsak on the right and former Liverpool youngster Krisztian Nemeth or Gergo Lovrencsics on the left. Up front it’ll likely be Adam Szalai but Tamas Priskin and Nemanja Nikolics will also be pushing for a start.

 

FORM

@SchnitzelSoccer: What is going on with Austria? After an impressive road to France (28 out of 30 points), Koller's side struggled in the pre-Euro friendlies. 2-1 wins vs. Albania and Malta were accompanied by losses against Switzerland, Turkey and the Netherlands.

Errors in the back four gave the fans something to worry about: Eight conceded goals is three more than in the entire qualifying campaign. Then again, friendlies are only friendlies after all and the manager promises: “We will be ready against Hungary.”

Mortimer: Hungary are without a win since their playoff victory over Norway in November; drawing to Croatia in March, Ivory Coast in May, before succumbing to Germany just last weekend. Hungary were impressive in their draws vs Croatia and Ivory Coast, and should’ve been victorious in both were they more clinical, but the defeat to Germany was a real show of the gulf in class between Hungary and the top sides in Europe.

 

KEY MAN

@SchnitzelSoccer: Marc Janko. 26 goals in 54 international games. Seven goals in the qualifying campaign. The tall forward is Austria's most reliable scorer. The 32 year-old also netted 16 times in 20 league games for Basel before a torn muscle fibre put him out of the game for six weeks. But Janko should be ready for action although he failed to impress against Malta and the Netherlands. It is expected that Hungary will rely on a well organised defence and won't allow too many chances. But one goal could be enough, so Janko in good shape is crucial. 

Mortimer: Balazs Dzsudzsak is likely to be Hungary’s key man even after a torrid season at Bursaspor in the Turkish Super League. Dzsudzsak has been out of form at club level almost ever since leaving PSV in 2011 but despite that, he is still vital for Hungary on the international stage and is the man to usually step up on the big occasions. Dzsudzsak can be frustrating if he’s playing badly, but his recent performance against Germany shows that he’s still very much a threat even against even the best of sides. 

 

SURE THING

@SchnitzelSoccer: From all the qualified teams only Albania (10) scored less goals than Hungary (11). Even though the Austrian back four was vulnerable in the friendlies, they sure have the quality for a clean sheet. I'd go for under 0.5 total goals by Hungary at 1.93.

Mortimer: Hungary have scored just one goal in their last 3 games and Austria are just expected to be too much for them in their 137th meeting – Austria -1 looks like a good bet at 2.33

 

LONG SHOT

@SchnitzelSoccer: I can see Janko scoring, but I guess I'm not alone with that (2.67). Let's make it more interesting and say: Janko will score from a header at 8.00.

Mortimer: Balazs Dzsudzsak has a lot of shots in a match so it might be worth putting a bet on him to hit the crossbar or post at 19.00

 

SCORE PREDICTION

@SchnitzelSoccer: Austria 1-0 Hungary at 5.75

Mortimer: Austria 2-0 Hungary at 7.50

 

#LuckIsNoCoincidence