Austria vs Northern Ireland - Home win tipped in Vienna

Austria can take all three points at home with Marko Arnautović first goalscorer
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Austria are tipped to beat Northern Ireland at the Ernst Happel Stadion on Friday (Getty Images).

Austria vs Northern Ireland Match Preview, Predictions & Betting Tips


Austria are tipped to beat Northern Ireland in the UEFA Nations League at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion in Vienna on Friday. Marko Arnautović is in good form and can score first in a favourable match up. 

Austria


The Austrians failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup but are on a good run after eight wins in their last 10 matches. A 2-0 home win against Sweden in a recent friendly was followed by a 1-0 defeat at Bosnia-Herzegovina in the UEFA Nations League.

German manager Franco Foda was appointed in October 2017 and has done a good job in charge. Few changes are expected from the side that lost in Bosnia, with Marko Arnautović to continue up front with Guido Burgstaller or Michael Gregoritsch.

Watford’s Sebastian Prödl will hold the defence together with danger coming from Bayern Munich’s David Alaba and fellow Bundesliga players Marcel Sabitzer, Alessandro Schöpf and Valentino Lazaro.

Austria's David Alaba is set to play a big role against Northern Ireland in the UEFA Nations League (Getty Images).

Northern Ireland


Manager Michael O'Neill has been in charge of Northern Ireland since 2011 but the small nation continually find it hard against the better nations in world football. 

The Green and White Army suffered a 2-1 home defeat against Bosnia-Herzegovina in their UEFA Nations League opener. William Grigg’s added time consolation came before a 3-0 friendly win against Israel in Belfast with Steven Davis, Stuart Dallas and Gavin Whyte on the score sheet.

Niall McGinn and Jamie Ward are injured and Kyle Lafferty ruled himself out which leaves O'Neill short of options up front. Only one player in the squad has scored more than four international goals, captain Steven Davis with 11 goals in 103 appearances. 

Head-to-Head


The last time these nations met was in the 2006 World Cup qualifiers. The first leg was a 3-3 draw in Belfast before a 2-0 win for Austria in the return leg in Vienna. 

Match Up


Austria have the better team and can make it count at home. David Alaba will be heavily involved down the left wing and can get the better of Northern Ireland right-back Conor McLaughlin.

Austria striker Marko Arnautovic is the first goalscorer tip against Northern Ireland (Getty Images).

I expect Marko Arnautović, Guido Burgstaller and Michael Gregoritsch to have too much strength and power for the visitors who are weak in defence and struggle to score away from home.

Key Statistics


  • Austria have won 8 of their last 10 matches in all competitions. 
  • Austria have kept 4 clean sheets in their last 7 matches in all competitions.
  • Northern Ireland have lost 5 of their last 9 matches (All competitions). 
  • Northern Ireland have failed to score in 9 of their last 12 away matches (All competitions).

Verdict


Austria have a solid team and can beat Northern Ireland at home.  David Alaba is the class player here and I expect Marko Arnautović to score.

The West Ham striker is back in form with four goals in his last six appearances for the Hammers. Arnautović can add to his tally of 19 goals for Austria in a good match up.

Best Bet: Austria Win @ 1.55 - 6 Units
Value Bet: Marko Arnautović First Goalscorer @ 4.50 - 2 Units
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Matthew Marshall 10 October 2018

UEFA Nations League Previews & Tips