Wales - Austria Preview: Hosts look to end slump
Chris Coleman's men will be hoping to get into the winning habit ahead of continuing their Brazil 2014 qualifying campaign with a friendly triumph over Marcel Koller's side
By Sion Cleaver
Matthews, Ricketts, Williams, Davies
Ramsey, Vaughan, Ledley
Bellamy, Church, Bale
Fuchs, Garics, Pogatetz, Prodl
Alaba, Ivanschitz, Kavlak
Harnik, Janko, Arnautovic
Swansea youngster Ben Davies has been included in the Wales squad that will welcome Austria to the Liberty Stadium on Wednesday.
The 19-year-old only has one international start to his name but is expected to feature in the starting line-up following his impressive debut season with Michael Laudrup’s Swans.
Swansea team-mate Ashley Williams is set to join the youngster in defence, teaming up with Bolton and Celtic full-backs Sam Ricketts and Adam Matthews.
Joe Allen will join up with the Wales squad but is not expected to make the starting XI, with boss Chris Coleman likely to favour Arsenal playmaker Aaron Ramsey in midfield.
West Ham defender Emanuel Pogatetz is set to make the trip in search of his 53rd appearance in an Austria shirt.
The defensive duo of Gyorgy Garics and Sebastian Prodl are expected to join the Austrian at the back, with Martin Harnik and Marc Janko set to lead the visitors’ attacking movement up front.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Wales have only won once so far in their World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign, beating Scotland with a 2-1 scoreline in October 2012.
- Gareth Bale (pictured right) is only player to have scored for Wales during their current World Cup qualifying campaign, with the Tottenham striker netting a total of 3 goals in four games.
- Wales lost six of the seven matches they played in 2012, being defeated by Costa Rica, Mexico, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Belgium, Serbia and Croatia.
- Austria, ranked 68th, are 13 places above 81st placed Wales in the current FIFA World rankings.
- The visitors have only lost twice in their last 8 international outings, a streak lasting back to February 2012.
- The away side's last friendly clash saw them pick up a hefty 3-0 defeat at home to Ivory Coast in November 2012.
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Top 3 Predictions
Wales 2-1 Austria
- 13.79 %
Wales 0-2 Austria
- 13.79 %
Wales 1-1 Austria
- 10.35 %
|International Friendlies (FR)||6 Feb 2013||Wales 2 - Austria 1|
|16 Nov 2013||Wales 1 - Finland 1||FR|
|15 Oct 2013||Belgium 1 - Wales 1||WCQE|
|11 Oct 2013||Wales 1 - Macedonia FYR 0||WCQE|
|10 Sep 2013||Wales 0 - Serbia 3||WCQE|
|6 Sep 2013||Macedonia FYR 2 - Wales 1||WCQE|
|-||Owain Fon Williams||Goalkeeper|
|-||Craig Martin Davies|
The 23-year-old has picked up 38 first-team appearances in a Wales shirt since his debut in 2006, netting nine times for his country, with three of those coming in his side's current World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign. He is the only Welsh player to score in this World Cup qualifying campaign, and much will rest on him again if they are to emerge victorious here.
The 30-year-old is best known for his five-year spell with Middlesbrough, but he has since impressed with German clubs Hannover and Wolfsburg, and has made 52 appearances for his country since his debut in 2002. Pogatetz defends with gusto and is likely to cause the Welsh attack problems in their own box from set-pieces on Wednesday evening.
Chris Coleman's Wales will be eager to put their lacklustre start to their World Cup qualifying campaign behind them by gearing themselves up with a friendly win over Austria at the Liberty Stadium. The visitors will be keen to pick up form too however, having only won one game so far this qualifying campaign. It should be a tight affair, with few chances and fewer goals.
Times In GMT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed