Austria - Germany Preview: Low's side aim to build on winning start
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
By Enis Koylu
Garics, Pogatetz, Prodl, Fuchs
Harnik, Junuzovic, Ivanschitz
Lahm, Hummels, Badstuber, Schmelzer
Gotze, Ozil, Reus
Austria coach Marcel Koller is expected to name a Bundesliga-heavy line-up as they gear up for the visit of their near neighbours, in their 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 centre-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 Faroe Islands.
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 defence, 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 defence and Per Mertesacker making way.
Elsewhere, the Nationalmannschaft are expected to be unchanged as they look to make it two wins in as many World Cup qualifying games.
|DID YOU KNOW|
- Austria also faced their neighbours in their 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 differences, Austria formerly wore identical football jerseys to Germany, before switching to their now-familiar red kit in 2004.
- Germany beat Austria 6-1 in Basel in the semi-final of the 1954 World Cup, which they eventually went on to win with a 3-2 victory against Hungary in the final.
- However, die Nationalmannschaft were eliminated in the group stage of the 1978 World Cup thanks to a 3-2 loss to their rivals in the second group stage. They were defending champions 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.
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Top 3 Predictions
Austria 1-3 Germany
- 15.06 %
Austria 0-3 Germany
- 12.71 %
Austria 0-4 Germany
- 12.47 %
|World Cup Qualifying - UEFA (WCQ)||Sep 6, 2013||Germany 3 - Austria 0|
|World Cup Qualifying - UEFA (WCQ)||Sep 11, 2012||Austria 1 - Germany 2|
|Euro 2012 (EC)||Sep 2, 2011||Germany 6 - Austria 2|
|Euro 2012 (EC)||Jun 3, 2011||Austria 1 - Germany 2|
|UEFA European Championship (EC)||Jun 16, 2008||Austria 0 - Germany 1|
|Nov 19, 2013||Austria 1 - United States 0||FR|
|Oct 15, 2013||Faroe Islands 0 - Austria 3||WCQ|
|Oct 11, 2013||Sweden 2 - Austria 1||WCQ|
|Sep 10, 2013||Austria 1 - Ireland 0||WCQ|
|Sep 6, 2013||Germany 3 - Austria 0||WCQ|
|-||Marc-Andre ter Stegen||Goalkeeper|
By far the brightest talent in the Austria squad, Martin Harnik's Bundesliga pedigree will make him acutely familiar with many of his opponents on Tuesday, and after being on the receiving end of a 6-1 drubbing from Bayern Munich, whose players continue to feature heavily in the Germany squad, he will be all the more eager to put in an impressive performance. What's more, Marcel Schmelzer's unconvincing performances at international level could mean that the 25-year-old is in for a fruitful evening.
Perhaps the player most culpable of squandering chances on Friday against Faroe Islands, Miroslav Klose will have a point to prove when his side travel to Austria on Tuesday. The 34-year-old has been edging towards Gerd Muller's international record of 68 goals for some time now, but with his years advancing and Mario Gomez finally starting to showcase his best form at international level, a top performance against Marcel Koller's men will be essential for him if he is to stay in his coach's plans.
Germany may have had a horror show in front of goal against Faroe Islands on Friday, but after a stern warning from Joachim Low in the wake of the match, the visitors should be closer to their incisive best. There is a fairly obvious gulf in quality between these two teams, but Austria do have a sufficiently talented front line to threaten their neighbours, but I'd still expect Germany to record a routine victory in Vienna on Tuesday.