Our prediction for this Nations League match:
After sharing the spoils with Croatia in Zagreb, France will be aiming to record first win of their Nations League campaign when they take on Austria at Ernst Happel Stadion. Didier Deschamps rested several first-team regulars against Croatia, but he is likely to field the best possible side against Austria, with both Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe returning to the starting XI. Antoine Griezmann is pushing for a start as well.
The Austrians, on the other hand, aim to make amends for a 2-1 loss to Denmark, but seeing that Didier Deschamps will count on key players in Friday’s clash, we are tempted to put our money on the world champions. As for the home side, experienced forward Marko Arnautovic is widely expected to return to the starting XI, with Bayern Munich midfielder Marcel Sabitzer pushing for recall as well. In their last meeting in a competitive match France defeated Austria 3-1.
Highlighted Player (David Alaba):
David Alaba started his youth career at SV Aspern and in 2002 he joined Austria Wien. Bayern Munich chiefs decided to sign him and he was promoted to the reserve team for the 2009/2010 campaign. He made 33 appearances for Bayern Munich II and he has been playing for the first team since 2010. At the age of 17 Alaba made his Champions League debut on 9 March, 2010 against Fiorentina.
The Austrian international is a full back, but he is capable of playing as a left midfielder as well. He represented Austria at the 2016 European Championship finals in France, but das Team failed to impress at the showpiece tournament, suffering elimination in the group stages. David Alaba won his fifth Bundesliga title with Bayern in the 2015/2016 season and he clinched the Champions League trophy with FCB in 2013.
Speaking of his individual honours, he was named Austrian Footballer of the Year in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Alaba was born in Wien on 24 June, 1992.
Highlighted Team (France):
Recording impressive results on international stage since 1904, France are widely regarded as one of the world’s most successful national teams, with three major trophies to their name. Two of those were won on home soil as Les Bleus emerged triumphant at the 1984 World Cup and 1998 European Championships, before also winning the 2000 Euros in Netherlands and Belgium.
Michel Platini, Jean Tigana, Luis Fernandez and Alain Giresse formed the “Carre Magique” during the 80’s as one of the most impressive attacking line-ups made life difficult for opposition defenders for years on end.
The new golden generation appeared at the turn of the century and featured players like Thierry Henry, Zinedine Zidane, David Trezeguet and Youri Djorkaef, winning back to back major trophies to place Les Bleus back on the map.
A new world-class team appears to be in the making as the likes of Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann and Raphael Varane are the pillars of the team led by Didier Deschamps. France national team now play their games at the stunning Saint Denis, or Stade de France.