The Euro 2012 semi-finalists make the short trip across their southern border after claiming a routine 3-0 triumph in their first World Cup qualifying match against Faroe Islands
Garics, Pogatetz, Prodl, Fuchs
Harnik, Junuzovic, Ivanschitz
Lahm, Hummels, Badstuber, Schmelzer
Gotze, Ozil, Reus
Coach Marcel Koller is expected to name a Bundesliga-heavy lineup as Austria gears up for the visit of its near neighbors, in its first World Cup qualifying match.
After making inroads into the first team over the last year, Fortuna Dusseldorf goalkeeper Robert Almer will continue between the posts, with Emanuel Pogatetz and Sebastian Prodl starting at center back after Paul Scharner's bust-up with the Austrian FA led to him being banished from the national team.
Bayern Munich utility man David Alaba is currently recovering from a pre-season foot injury, leaving Veli Kavlak and Julian Baumgartlinger to occupy the midfield, with Martin Harnik, Zlatko Junuzovic and Andreas Ivanschitz playing just behind Marko Arnautovic.
Meanwhile, Joachim Low is expected to revert to his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation after fielding an extra playmaker in a 4-1-4-1 in Friday's 3-0 win over Germany.
Thomas Muller, Mario Gotze, Mesut Ozil and Marco Reus formed a quartet behind lone striker Miroslav Klose, but the Bayern Munich attacker is set to drop out, with Toni Kroos, who missed the Faroes clash with a hip injury, returning to fold alongside Sami Khedira in the deep-lying midfield positions.
In defense, Marcel Schmelzer missed the Hannover fixture with a foot injury, but has been back in training as of Sunday, and should be able to play at left back, with Holger Badstuber moving back to the heart of defense and Per Mertesacker making way.
Elsewhere, the Nationalmannschaft is expected to be unchanged as it looks to make it two wins in as many World Cup qualifying games.
|DID YOU KNOW|
- Austria also faced its neighbors in its ultimately unsuccessful bid to qualify for Euro 2012. A last-minute winner from Mario Gomez gave Germany a hard-earned victory in Vienna, before Joachim Low's men cruised to a 6-2 win in Gelsenkirchen.
- A total of nine players from Marcel Koller's squad ply their trade in Germany's top flight, one of whom, Stuttgart's Martin Harnik (pictured, right), was born in Hamburg.
- In addition to their geographical, cultural and linguistic similarities, Austria formerly wore identical football jerseys to Germany, before switching to its now-familiar red kit in 2004.
- Germany beat Austria 6-1 in Basel in the semifinal of the 1954 World Cup, which it eventually went on to win with a 3-2 victory against Hungary in the final.
- However, die Nationalmannschaft was eliminated in the group stage of the 1978 World Cup thanks to a 3-2 loss to its rival in the second group stage. It was defending champion at the time.
- With the exception of veteran striker Miroslav Klose, 34, every member of Germany's squad is under 30 years of age. The next oldest is 28-year-old Philipp Lahm, while one player, Julian Draxler, is still a teenager.