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In a highly anticipated clash, the top two teams in Group F of Euro 2024 qualifying, Austria and Belgium, are set to lock horns at the prestigious Ernst Happel Stadion. With both nations currently perched on 13 points after five matches, the stakes are incredibly high, as a victory in this encounter will guarantee their presence at next year’s Euro 2024 tournament in Germany.
|Austria vs Belgium Betting Tips|
Austria are on the verge of securing their third consecutive European Championships appearance. Their remarkable journey in Group F has seen them win four matches and draw one out of their first five encounters, an impressive record underscored by a goal tally of 12 while conceding just four. Recent wins over Azerbaijan and Estonia were swiftly followed by defeating Sweden both at home and away in their last two qualifiers, an emphatic 3-1 triumph in Stockholm being a notable highlight. The only blip on their record was a 1-1 draw with Belgium in Brussels four months ago, which only underscores the stiff competition they’ve faced.
Ralf Rangnick’s side currently trail Belgium by a slim margin in goal difference, but more crucially, they enjoy a seven-point cushion ahead of third-placed Sweden. To secure their spot at Euro 2024, Austria require a mere three points from their final three games. Their dominance on home soil in Euro qualifying cannot be understated, having triumphed in 11 of their last 12 matches, a record stretching back to October 2014. However, they face a daunting challenge against Belgium, a team they haven’t bested in their last six meetings, with their last victory dating all the way back to June 1959.
Belgium, too, is on the cusp of clinching their third consecutive European Championships berth, although they couldn’t replicate their perfect 10-win record from the 2020 qualifiers due to the draw with Austria this time around. Following their group-stage exit at the 2022 World Cup, the Red Devils have rallied, winning five and drawing one of their first six games under the stewardship of new head coach Domenico Tedesco. A resounding 5-0 home victory over Estonia in their most recent Euro 2024 qualifier propelled them to the top of Group F on goal difference.
Belgium’s ability to find the back of the net has been nothing short of astounding, scoring in 57 of their last 60 international matches across all competitions since the 2018 World Cup. In Euro 2024 qualifying, only Portugal, Switzerland, England, and Spain have outscored them. Despite the absence of Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku continues to lead the line brilliantly, with eight goals in just five games, making him the top scorer in Euro 2024 qualifying, a feat that eclipses his closest rivals.
Ranked fifth in the world by FIFA, Belgium arrives at the Ernst Happel Stadion with a reputation for formidable away performances in Euro qualifying, having won each of their last ten away games since a lone loss to Wales in June 2015.
Austria will face the challenge without the services of a defensive trio, namely David Alaba (muscle), Stefan Posch (thigh), and Gernot Trauner (knee) due to injuries. Forward Marko Arnautovic is also absent with a thigh problem. Marcel Sabitzer and Christoph Baumgartner, though nursing knocks, are expected to play some part in the match. Michael Gregoritsch, who previously found the net against Belgium, is also doubtful but aims to earn his 50th international cap in attack.
Leandro Trossard (hamstring) and Ameen Al-Dakhil (unspecified) have withdrawn from the Belgian squad due to injuries. 18-year-old Antwerp midfielder Arthur Vermeeren has received his first call-up, and Zinho Vanheusden, on loan from Inter Milan, is hopeful of making his senior international appearance since his debut in 2020. Notably, Kevin De Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois are sidelined with injuries, making way for Koen Casteels to continue in goal.
Jan Vertonghen, who marked his 150th international appearance last month, is set to partner Wout Faes in central defence, flanked by full-backs Timothy Castagne and Arthur Theate. In the midfield, Amadou Onana, Youri Tielemans, and Orel Mangala are expected to feature. Yannick Carrasco, Jeremy Doku, and Johan Bakayoko are all in contention to play on the flanks beside central striker Lukaku.
Austria Possible Starting Lineup: Schlager; Danso, Daniliuc, Lienhart, Wober; Laimer, Schlager, Seiwald, Sabitzer; Adamu, Gregoritsch
Belgium Possible Starting Lineup: Casteels; Castagne, Faes, Vertonghen, Theate; Tielemans, Mangala, Onana; Bakayoko, Lukaku, Doku
This Group F clash promises to be an exciting contest between two teams eager to secure qualification for Euro 2024 with two games to spare. While both squads are missing key players, Belgium appears to have an edge in the final third, especially with the in-form Lukaku leading the line. We predict a close encounter, with Belgium ultimately prevailing with a score of 2-1.