After a guest appearance in the Israeli part of the Mediterranean, ÖFB chief Franco Foda and his forces would like to be the first to be pursued by Denmark, who is currently five points ahead. “We and Israel are fighting for second place, so we have to see that we get three points,” Fouda said.
Implementing this project will be challenging, particularly in light of the offensive capabilities of the Israelis Eran Sahavi and Monas Dabour. “This is a very different opponent from the Moldovans. Foda warned that Israel has a lot of quality up front.” “It is important that our defense is very attentive. We can’t leave room for them and we have to be aggressive.”
Austria meets Israel
In the World Cup qualifier against Israel, the Austrian Football Association team is fighting for second place in Group D. David Alaba, who will lead the national team as team captain, regained fitness again in time.
Rottsteiner prefers Austria
For Israeli team chief Rottsteiner, the starting position is clear, ÖFB’s notable failures and the Israelis’ home advantage changed nothing. “They are the favorites, not least because of the successes in recent years,” said Ruttsteiner, who served as the sporting director of the Austrian Federation until 2017. Since then, the Austrian team has improved even better. “The main difference from then is the experience. There are many players in major clubs and international competitions. There is great potential and there is a good balance between young and experienced players,” said Rottsteiner.
The top Austrian did not want to overestimate the mixed performance of ÖFB’s 2-0 kicks on Wednesday against Moldova. “The bottom line is that they won and scored three points, that was their goal. For sure, the coach and the team started this game and focused on the new challenge,” said Rottsteiner, who will have to dispense with injured midfielder Dore Perez on Saturday.
World Cup Qualifiers, Group F
Saturday, 8.45 p.m.:
Live in ORF1
Israel – Austria
Haifa, Sami Ofer Stadium, S.R. Zuer (Germany)
Israel: Marciano – Dasa, Dejani, Menachem, Tepe – de Perez, Nacho, Solomon – Peyton, Sahavi, Wasp
Austria: Bachmann-Tremmel, Lenhart, Hinterger, Olmer-Grelic, Leimer-Schaub, Kaines, Alaba-Arnautovic
The fact that Ruttensteiner is well aware of the ÖFB team does not necessarily mean that the former ÖFB sports director could not be surprised. “He knows the players, but we have always played very diversely over the past few months. In this regard, I don’t think he can adapt to us 100 per cent,” said the Austria team boss.
“You will get chances”
According to Fouda, a focused defensive performance will be the key to the success of the Austrian Football Association team in Israel. “We will take our chances up front. But then we also have to take advantage of them.” In Moldova, the ÖFB team lacked ruthlessness. “We could have made the task easier and taken the lead earlier. “We missed many opportunities and often did not make the right decision in the last region,” Fouda said.
The team boss did not accept that his team was at a loss when it came to opponents in a low position. “We had the solutions, we often managed to handle the winger very well,” said the 55-year-old and emphasized that the three points were the most important thing in this match. “We did our homework. All the international matches before my time against the Moldova team away from home also ended with difficulty. There are no easy tasks these days.”
Fouda understood only limited criticism of Wednesday’s performance. “Everyone thinks, OK, we play against Moldova, you have to win 5-0 and everything below that is evaluated critically. We have to live with that. We know ourselves,” the former Sturm Graz championship maker said and took some of his players on board. That everything was not good.” “Maybe one or the other lacked absolute seriousness, we discussed it internally.”
Critical condition of people
Staff condition is also an issue. Other problem children Stefan Lehner, Sasa Kalajdzic, Xavier Schlager, Marcel Sabitzer and Julian Baumgartlinger have joined already, although there is a positive trend in this regard. Christoph Baumgartner’s injured ankle showed improvement, as did Louis Schop’s calf problems. Replacing Konrad Laimer was a precautionary measure.
The Leipzig player should be in the starting lineup against Israel as well as David Alaba, who only participated in the match against Moldova due to minor muscle problems. “I hope he plays 90 minutes,” said Fouda, of Real Madrid’s Legion, and explained at the closing press conference on Friday evening that Alaba would start if there were no problems in the last training session.
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