Poland will host Austria at the National Stadium in Warsaw on Monday in the UEFA EURO qualifiers.
Both these sides are in a strong position in Group G. Poland are in first place after five games. The top two qualify for the tournament and Poland are four points clear of Slovenia in third. The qualifying process started perfectly for Poland. They won their first match 1-0 against Austria, and that kicked off a great run. Poland won their first four games before losing to Slovenia 2-0 last week. Despite the loss, they are favorites to qualify from Group G.Embed from Getty Images
Poland had 65% possession against Slovenia, but they could manage just one shot on target. Slovenia were comfortable to play on the counter, and they did so effectively. Robert Lewandowski and Krzysztof Piatek started as the duo in the attack. Both of them have been impressive in the qualifying campaign so far. Out of the eight goals Poland have scored, Lewandowski and Piatek have netted five. The likes of Kamil Grosicki and Piotr Zielinksi have helped as well.
On the defensive side, Poland have shown their might. They kept a clean sheet in each of their first four qualifying games. The goals against Slovenia were the first ones they have conceded. Kamil Glik was injured for that game, and Michal Pazdan started in central defense. Glik should be back against Austria to partner Jan Bednarek at the back. The two have developed a great understanding which has been a reason for Poland’s strong defensive record.
Austria are just behind Poland in the group, though they have won one less game. They are currently on 9 points. Austria’s campaign did not start well as they lost both of their first two games. Poland won 1-0 in the first game, and then Israel beat them 4-2 in the same week. Qualifying hopes were thin at the time, but Austria have improved to amend that.Embed from Getty Images
Three successive wins have seen them rise to second in the group. In those three games, they have scored 11 goals conceding just once. Latvia were their opponents last week, and Austria handed them a 6-0 defeat. Marko Arnautovic scored twice against Latvia, which was his third brace in the qualifying campaign. He is the leading scorer for his side with six goals to his name.
Latvia is an easier side to face than Poland, but the confidence they got from that win will be a boost. Austria should continue in the 4-2-3-1 system, which sees David Alaba and Marcel Sabitzer in advanced roles behind Arnautovic. Poland have been unbeaten against Austria in the last four matches, the last of which came way back in 2004.
Poland vs Austria Prediction
Austria are the side in form, but Poland are a strong unit defensively. The game will be tight, and the total goals should be under 2.5 in the game. Both sides are in a secure place in the group, and they will look to avoid a heavy loss. A draw seems like the most likely result.