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ÖFB are fighting for a slim chance of first place in the European Championship qualifying group

ÖFB are fighting for a slim chance of first place in the European Championship qualifying group

For the Austrian national team, the upcoming match against Estonia in the European Championship qualifiers is not only about rising to the level of the team as favourites, but also about preserving their slim chance of finishing first in the group.

Ralf Rangnick could win the qualifying group with ÖFB.
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Austria national team Thursday’s fights vs Estonia To stand a slim chance of finishing their European Championship qualifying group in first place. On the one hand, a win in Tallinn is essential for that, and on the other hand, leaders Belgium, who are one point ahead of ÖFB, are unlikely to win at home to Azerbaijan next Sunday. If the two teams finish on the same points, the direct confrontation will speak in favor of Belgium.

The match in Brussels ended in a 1-1 draw, and in Vienna the third-placed team in 2018 won 3-2. Even if the final European Championship qualifier for already-qualified Austria has no impact on the Group F table, it is still important for the Euro 2024 group draw. If they win, ÖFB should have legitimate hopes of being drawn from the second pot in the second round. December in Hamburg. If you lose points, only the third pot remains.

Estonia is missing seven players

European Championship qualifiers were first held in the group stage of the final round in 1968, and since then, Austria has achieved first place only once – in the 2016 tournament. Second place came three times (1972, 1980, 2021), which was just enough To get a starting place in the European Championship three and a half years ago.

Estonia is an opponent who has scored just one point in their six European Championship qualifying matches so far (1-1 draw in Azerbaijan). In the FIFA world rankings, Austria is ranked 25th, 93 places behind the Baltic countries. The national team, coached by Swiss Thomas Haberli since 2021, has won just one of ten international matches this year, with a trial match in January in Finland resulting in a 1-0 win.

The Estonians are missing six injured players and one player suspended against Austria. The most expensive player in the current team is Karl Heine, worth 1.5 million euros. The 21-year-old goalkeeper is under contract with Arsenal, but is yet to play in the Premier League or Champions League.

However, ÖFB international players be warned. Last March, the score was 1-1 in Linz until the 88th minute before a deflected shot was saved by Michael Gregoritsch. Before that there were two matches between Austria and Estonia, which ended in a 2-0 draw at home and then a 3-0 away draw for the red, white and red as part of the qualifiers for the 1998 World Cup.