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Preview: Denmark vs. Austria - prediction, team news, lineups
12/10/2021 14:32:16

Denmark welcome Austria to Parken Stadium in Copenhagen on Tuesday evening for the latest round of World Cup 2022 European qualifiers in Group F.

The hosts have achieved perfection to this point of the campaign, whilst their upcoming opponents have underperformed and find themselves fourth in the group with just three games remaining.

We say: Denmark 2-1 Austria

Whilst the Austrians have more to play for and, on paper, should be one of the hardest opponents for Denmark, we think The Red and White will still have too much quality in their ranks.

They also have the momentum and will remember dismantling Austria on their own turf in the reverse fixture back in March.

Match preview

Denmark have accumulated maximum points from their first seven games in Group F, scoring 26 goals in the process and conceding none, meaning their average scoreline is just short of 4-0.

That was indeed the result of their most recent match, as they comfortably dispatched bottom side Moldova away from home on Saturday evening.

Andreas Skov Olsen grabbed one goal and created two others as the Danes scored four times in a dominant first-half - it was the winger who opened the scoring, pouncing after Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had struck the post, with a Simon Kjaer penalty and strikes from Christian Norgaard and Joakim Maehle ending the contest long before the final whistle.

After their fairytale story at Euro 2020 ended in heartbreak at the hands of England and a Harry Kane stoppage-time winner, the Danes have bounced back with characteristic determination and have already guaranteed one of the top two spots with three games to spare.

There is a good chance they will also be guaranteed the automatic qualification of topping the group by the end of Tuesday, as they currently sit seven points above second-placed Scotland.

Austria, on the other hand, will be very disappointed with their qualification campaign, having put together a points total that is less than half that of the Danes.

They were, at least, able to claim a first win in three games against the Faroe Islands last time out - goals either side of half time from Konrad Laimer and Marcel Sabitzer securing a 2-0 win - but that came after back-to-back defeats.

The first was a crushing 5-2 loss to Israel, with The Blue and Whites three goals up in just over half an hour and goals from Christoph Baumgartner and Marko Arnautovic unable to turn the tie around, before Das Team fell to an unexpected 1-0 defeat at home against Scotland.

All that leaves Franco Foda's side in fourth, with just three games remaining to catch up the four-point deficit to the Scots who currently occupy the playoff spot.

With Scotland taking on the Faroe Islands on Tuesday, the Austrians will have to pull out something special against an all-conquering Danish side or they may find themselves seven points back and out of the running.

Team News

Denmark manager Kasper Hjulmand chose not to rest any players against Moldova but may now rotate slightly with three games in the space of 72 hours, but equally he may not want to risk losing their 100% record.

Premier League regulars Hojbjerg and Andreas Christensen are perhaps the most likely candidates considering they are one yellow card away from a suspension.

Yussuf Poulsen led the line on Friday but was unable to add to the single goal he has notched so far in six appearances during the campaign and could be dropped from the starting XI.

Austria have a long list of injury issues, with Arnautovic and Baumgartner having withdrawn from the squad due to injury, and Valentino Lazaro, Philipp Lienhart and Aleksandar Dragovic also sidelined.

The goals against the Faroe Islands came from midfield and Foda still appears to be lacking a clear lead striker.

Stefan Ilsanker and Florian Grillitsch are also one yellow card away from a suspension but will surely play in a crucial game against the toughest opposition.

Denmark possible starting lineup:

Schmeichel; Wass, Kjaer, Vestergaard, Larsen; Jensen, Norgaard, Delaney; Daramy, Dolberg, Skov Olsen

Austria possible starting lineup:

Bachmann; Trimmel, Posch, Hinteregger, Alaba; Grillitsch, Laimer, Sabitzer; Kainz, Kara, Gregoritsch

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