By Tobias Waidhofer
Vienna – Are there still dwarfs in international football? With a view to today’s World Cup qualifying opponents of the ÖFB-Elf, the Faroe Islands, one must at least state that the field has moved closer together in terms of performance.
But no dwarfs, no dwarfs. According to team boss Franco Foda, only one thing counts for Austria’s collected football elite: “We have to get three points, no question about it. We are a huge favorite. “
Keep up the pace, show calm and patience
What does it take today? “We have to keep up the pace, show calm and patience and we mustn’t let up for a second,” says the team boss, putting his (expected) strategy into words. It will definitely take creative minds against the dense defensive concrete of the Faroese. In other words, those actors who can tear gaps in 1-on-1 with a quick start, a brilliant idea or their quality.
That sounds like a list of the strengths of the man who took a seat next to team boss Foda at the final press conference yesterday: Within a few months, Hoffenheim-Perle Christoph Baumgartner has made himself indispensable in the national team.
⚽ World Cup qualification, group F
- Denmark – Moldova 6 p.m.
- Austria – Faroe Islands 8.45 p.m.
- Possible list Austria: A. Schlager (LASK / 4 international matches) – Trimmel (Union Berlin / GER / 10/0 goals), Dragovic (Bayer Leverkusen / GER / 87/1), Lienhart (Freiburg / GER / 3/0), Ulmer (Red Bull Salzburg / 21/0) – Grillitsch (Hoffenheim / GER / 20/1), X. Schlager (VfL Wolfsburg / GER / 18/1) – Schöpf (FC Schalke 04 / GER / 24/5), Baumgartner (Hoffenheim / GER / 6/2), Schaub (FC Luzern / SUI / 18/6) – Kalajdzic (Stuttgart / GER / 3/2)
- Israel – Scotland 8.45 p.m.
But where does his dribbling strength and assertiveness come from? In order to answer this question, the 21-year-old rummages through childhood memories: “Through my brother (ex-Wacker kicker Dominik / now WAC, note) I used to play against older people. You had to assert yourself technically. ”The“ Baumi ”does this so impressively at Hoffenheim that, like his colleague Sasa Kalajdzic (“ Sasa has taken a brutal development ”), it should long since have landed on the notes of international top clubs.
Starting eleven chance for Schöpf?
There are many indications that the system will be changed, because an additional midfielder with a feeling for the last pass would do the ÖFB-Elf well. The logical candidate is Swiss legionnaire Loius Schaub. But also the Tyrolean Alessandro Schöpf – Foda still has a high opinion of the Ötztal despite his problems at Schalke – could slip into the first team. Whether the last injured Marcel Sabitzer and Valentino Lazaro can participate will be decided at short notice.
Yesterday it could also be interpreted as a sign that not David Alaba but Baumgartner was sent to the press conference. Because the frequent player from FC Bayern could be spared just as much as other players with a view to the Denmark match. “We will bring three or four new employees,” announced the team boss.
There is also the question of who will stand between the posts this time? Alex Schlager again? Or did his insecurities in Scotland catapult the LASK keeper out of the way? “We have a clear plan with the gatekeepers and we will go through with it,” replied Foda cryptically. This question shouldn’t be decisive against the Faroe Islands – as long as everything goes according to plan in the other penalty area.
📊 Austria’s international match record against the Faroe Islands: