Our football match prediction:
Austria have been struggling to find their best form in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Das Team are on a three-game winless run in Group D, but Friday’s football match against Moldova could be the turning point for David Alaba and his teammates. The Austrians have no other choice but to go all guns blazing at the Moldovans and we predict that they will return to winning ways in the World Cup qualifiers. The good news for the hosts is that Schalke attacker Burgstaller returns to contention for the Moldova game. Igor Dobrovolskiy’s men have slim chances of qualifying for the showpiece tournament in Russia and seeing that they have yet to record a win in the process, we are positive that the visitors will return home empty-handed. Moldova have already conceded 11 goals in their qualifying group and they are unlikely to spoil Austria’s party at Ernst-Happel-Stadion.
Highlighted Player (Veli Kavlak):
Veli Kavlak is an Austrian international midfielder playing for Turkish giants Besiktas since 2011. Kavlak began his professional career at Rapid Wien where he spent seven years before his move to Turkey. A defensive box-to-box midfielder, Veli Kavlak is renowned for his tireless running and endless stamina. Most often deployed at the holding role, Kavlak is a hardworking leader to his team. During most recent times his career has been plagued by numerous injuries which have prevented him from playing his usual role for the Turkish giants. Former Rapid midfielder has endured a difficult season marked by a recurring shoulder problem which kept him out of action for the most part of the campaign. Fitness issues continued in the 2016-17 season forcing Kavlak under the knife for the fifth time in two years. His club notoriously decided to freeze Kavlak’s contract, which means that the 29-year-old midfielder is heading into the new Champions League season without his monthly payments.
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.