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Scotland vs Austria prediction, preview, team news and more | 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Scotland face Austria at Hampden on Thursday
Scotland face Austria at Hampden on Thursday
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 24 Mar 2021
Preview

After successfully qualifying for Euro 2020 this summer, Scotland host Austria in the first match of their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign.

This is a big game for Scotland against a side that they are expected to compete with for a spot in the playoffs. Denmark are favorites to top the group, with either Austria or Scotland expected to take the playoff spot.

In November, Scotland confirmed their place at Euro 2020 when they beat Serbia in a penalty shootout in Belgrade. David Marshall saved the decisive penalty from Aleksandr Mitrovic to send the Scots through.

However, they couldn't top their group in the UEFA Nations League. They lost their last game to Israel and were pipped to top spot by the Czech Republic.

Despite the highs of late last year, Scotland will enter the game as underdogs as they continue to struggle in front of goal. They have only scored six times in their last eight matches.

Austria, in contrast, have scored 14 times in that same period, and have been playing some vibrant football. They also topped their group in the Nations League, and will be playing in League A in the next edition of the competition.

They will also be at Euro 2020, like the Scots, but secured their spot at the tournament without the need for the playoffs.


Scotland vs Austria Head-to-Head

Austria have a historical edge over the Scots in this fixture. Austria have won eight and lost six of the 20 games they have played against Scotland thus far.

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Scotland vs Austria Team News

Scotland

With the Scots struggling in front of goal, Southampton's Che Adams has been handed his first call-up and could lead the line in this game. Scott McTominay, who has been deployed as a centre-back so far, could move into midfield.

Meanwhile, Rangers' Ryan Jack has withdrawn from the squad due to an injury.

Injured: Ryan Jack

Suspended: None

Austria

Julian Baumgartlinger and Marko Arnautovic are the big misses in this squad. Striker Sasa Kalajdzic has been in superb form for Stuttgart in the Bundesliga and should be an attacking threat in this game.

Injured: Julian Baumgartlinger

Suspended: None

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Scotland vs Austria Predicted XIs

Scotland Predicted XI (5-3-2): David Marshall; Stephen O'Donnell, Scott McKenna, Declan Gallagher, Kieran Tierney, Andy Robertson; John McGinn, Scott McTominay, Callum McGregor; Che Adams, Ryan Christie

Austria Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Pavao Pervan; Stephan Lainer, Aleksandar Dragovic, Stefan Ilsanker, Andreas Ulmer; Florian Grillitsch, Marcel Sabitzer; Xaver Schlager, Christoph Baumgartner, David Alaba; Sasa Kalajdzic


Scotland vs Austria Prediction

Kalajdzic is a proven goalscorer and could trouble the Scottish defense in this game.

We are predicting an Austria win in this fixture thanks to the firepower that they possess in the final third.

Prediction: Scotland 1-3 Austria

Published 24 Mar 2021, 16:19 IST
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