Austria take on the visitors Belgium in the round 7 match of group stage of UEFA Euro-2024 qualification. The match will be played on Friday, October 13th at Ernst Happel Stadion (Vienna).
Austria is clearly aiming for success in these qualifiers. Das Team hasn't made a return to the World Cup for a quarter of a century; their last appearance was in 1998. Ten years later, they participated in the European Championship, but as hosts, they couldn't advance beyond the group stage. However, the current squad, many of whom have honed their skills in the German Bundesliga, is genuinely strong. They returned to the Euros in 2016 and in the next tournament, after defeating North Macedonia and Ukraine, they made it to the playoffs from the second place (where they faced Italy and were eliminated by the future champions, although they gave them a good fight). They failed to qualify for the World Cup afterward, but the team under Ralph Rangnick is indeed deserving. In the qualifiers, they only dropped points once, sharing a draw with Belgium. They won all their other matches, defeating Sweden twice, as well as Azerbaijan and Estonia.
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Belgium started this year with a new coach. Under the previous coach, Roberto Martinez, the Red Devils finally managed to meet expectations, setting a national record by winning a bronze medal at the World Cup. However, that peak was in 2018, and afterward, there was a downturn. They had a decent performance at Euro 2020, but in Qatar, during the World Cup, there was a sporting failure with no progression from the group stage, coupled with off-field scandals and disputes. The Belgians naturally underwent some squad changes and a change in management. They replaced the Spanish coach with a young manager, Domenico Tedesco, who had worked prospectively at clubs (much like Roberto Martinez himself). The former Spartak coach is performing well, winning four times in Euro qualifiers in five matches, including a victory over neighboring Germany in a friendly. However, they drew with the Austrians, even though it was a home fixture.
The two teams have played five matches in total, with the Red Devils winning only once in 2011. All other matches ended in a draw, including their June meeting, which finished 1-1. Based on the odds, more faith seems to be placed in Ralph Rangnick's team, who are playing at home in Vienna's Ernst Happel stadium. However, both sides have their strengths, so we recommend betting on both teams to score in this match.
Prediction for the match: Both teams to score – yes.