Our prediction for this World Cup 2022 match:
Buoyed by a routine 4-0 win over Faroe Islands, Israel will be looking to give fans yet another reason for celebration when they take on Austria in the Group F derby. The Israelis are eyeing their third consecutive win of the process, but this game will be anything but a walk in the park for the hosts. A man to keep an eye on in the home team will be experienced PSV attacker Eran Zahavi, who scored a hat-trick in the crushing of Faroe Islands. Das Team, on the other hand, aim to build on a 2-0 win over Moldova.
The Austrians are eyeing automatic qualification to the World Cup finals as well, and given their attacking potential, both teams to score betting option should be considered. As always, all eyes will be on duo Alaba – Arnautovic, speaking of the away team. Both Schlager and Sabitzer are likely to miss the game with injuries.
Highlighted Player (Lior Refaelov):
Lior Refaelov is an Israeli footballer playing as an attacking midfielder for the Belgium giants with whom he has been a mainstay since his arrival in 2011. Rafaelov began his career at Maccabi Haifa where he played 161 league appearances and scored 30 goals before moving to Belgium.
The experienced 30-year-old Israel international has made his senior debut for his country in 2007 and has since earned over 30 caps for Israel. Lior Rafaelov is a player of vast international experience despite the fact Club Brugge are his first and so far only club in Europe.
The 30-year-old attacking midfielder is a major force upfront who has scored six times during Brugge’s Europa League campaign in 2014-15, while he also scored the winner in the Belgian Cup final to earn his club a first trophy in eight years. Last season Rafaleov repeated the feat, having scored in the 2016 Belgian Cup Final, but it wasn’t enough for Club Brugge to avoid getting defeated 2-1 to Standard Liege.
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.