Estonia vs Austria Match Analysis & Prediction
16/11/2023 8:00 pm
Still capable of pipping Belgium to top spot in Euro 2024 qualifying Group F, Austria wrap up a successful preliminary campaign when they face Estonia in Tallinn on Thursday.
In contrast, the hosts have only collected one point from a possible 18 in the section, but their campaign is not done and dusted just yet, as a playoff spot remains on offer for the time being.
As was the case during qualifying for Euro 1996 and Euro 2020, Estonia could end another failed campaign without a single win, and Thomas Haberli’s side were condemned to a fourth successive defeat in the group when Azerbaijan paid a visit last month.
Since securing their only point of the section so far against Azerbaijan in June, Estonia were subjected to 5-0 and 3-0 defeats to Belgium – also losing to Sweden by the latter scoreline – and Giovanni De Biasi’s side rectified their summer errors to win 2-0 through Toral Bayramov’s header and Ramil Sheydayev’s spot kick.
Herbali’s side have not been consiged to a fifth-placed finish just yet, as they only have a three-point gap to make up to Azerbaijan, but a trip to Sweden this weekend will hardly fill the Blueshirts faithful with unbridled optimism.
However, as things stand, Estonia will receive a golden ticket to the playoffs, as fewer than four teams from the top tier of the Nations League are set to go down that path, meaning that the 12th and final spot will be passed onto the best-ranked League D nation, which just so happens to be Haberli’s side.
Furthermore, Estonia managed to restore a slight sense of pride with a 1-1 friendly draw against Thailand on October 17, although that result extended their winless run across all competition to eight matches since a surprise 1-0 exhibition victory over Finland back in January.
While Estonia were outwitted by Azerbaijan in their most recent Euro 2024 qualifier, Austria managed to avoid the same fate during their encounter with De Biasi’s side a few weeks back, as Marcel Sabitzer’s penalty punched his nation’s ticket to a fourth continental championships.
Ralf Rangnick’s side have qualified on merit for each of the last three tournaments and remain in contention to pip Belgium to the top of Group F with just one game left to play.
A tally of 16 points from seven matches has Austria sitting just one points behind the Red Devils, who are not in competitive action until their home encounter with Azerbaijan on Sunday, meaning that Rangnick’s side can temporarily rise to the summit with a win on Thursday – a draw would not suffice due to Belgium’s superior head-to-head results.
Estonia vs. Austria Head to head
Austria have won each of the three previous meetings between these two teams, scoring seven goals while conceding just one.
30/04/1997Austria2Estonia0UEFA World Cup Qualifiers
20/08/1997Estonia0Austria3UEFA World Cup Qualifiers
Estonia Team News
Shamrock Rovers midfielder Markus Poom – the son of former Estonia and Arsenal goalkeeper Mart Poom – has been recalled by Haberli here, as has 55-cap defender Joonas Tamm.
Karl Hein – who is quietly watching on in the background as David Raya and Aaron Ramsdale fight for goalkeeping supremacy – is set to earn his 26th senior cap for his country at the age of 21.
Estonia's Last 5 Matches
Austria Team News
Substitute striker Guido Burgstaller had a cameo to forget in the win over Azerbaijan, as he was booked for time-wasting moments before being give his marching orders for a second bookable offence in the final 10 minutes.
The Rapid Wien attacker has not been called up by Rangnick anyway, allowing Sasa Kalajdzic and 36-goal veteran Marko Arnautovic to fight for the right to lead the visitors’ attack.
Austria's Last 5 Matches
Estonia vs. Austria: Odds and Predictions
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