Our prediction for this Nations League match:
A small town near Sarajevo will host this League B, Group 3 match between Austria and Bosnia & Herzegovina who will be competing to go as far as possible in the League of Nations to possibly secure a place in the Euro 2020. Fans at the Bilino Polje Stadium will watch these two teams hash it out for only the fourth time in their history. They will hope their team will finally beat Austria after two draws and a defeat. Austria is in better form since they recorded seven wins in their last 10 encounters. These seven wins were all one after another before their only loss in the last nine games, against Brazil in the run-up to the World Cup. Bosnia & Herzegovina have four wins, three draws and just as many losses in their last 10 matches. However, they are without a loss in the last four games, playing out two wins and two draws.
Highlighted Player (Rade Krunic):
Rade Krunic is a product of Sutjeska Foca youth football school. The Bosnia international was born in Foca on October 7, 1993 and 19 years later he made his senior debut with his hometown club Sutjeska.
After scoring three goals in 15 appearances for the Bosnian club, the Bosnian midfielder moved to Serbian side Donji Srem in 2013. In 2014 he signed a contract with Italian side Hellas Verona, but he was immediately loaned back to Donji Srem. In 2015 Rade Krunic made 13 appearances for Serbian side Borac Cacak before joining yet another Italian team Empoli.
He has been playing for the Azzurri ever since and it has to be noted that he scored his first goal for the Serie A side in a 2-0 win over Genoa in October, 2015. Speaking of his international career, Krunic made his Bosnia and Herzegovina debut in a friendly against Denmark on June 3, 2016. He has 8 caps for Bosnia and Herzegovina U21 team as well.
Highlighted Team (Austria):
Austria is one of Europe’s oldest national football teams and they enjoyed plenty of success during the 1930’s, earning the nickname Wunderteam in the process. Das Team achieved a fourth-place finish at the second World Cup in 1934, before finishing in third place at the 1954 finals. However, Austria have since participated at another five World Cup finals, never getting past the first knockout stage.
Das Team were even more disappointing in the European Championship qualifying campaigns, failing to qualify for 12 straight tournaments before appearing at the 2008 finals as co-hosts. However, Austria made it to the Euro 2016 in style, winning nine of ten qualifiers to suggest the team may be on the path to return to old glory days.
Former Bayern Munich midfielder Andreas Herzog is the team’s most capped footballer with 103 appearances, whereas Toni Polster is the most prolific striker with 44 goals in 95 outings. Matthias Sinderlar, Ernst Ocwirk, Herbert Prohaska and Hans Krankl are some of the most notable players to have represented Austria over the years.