Two races separate the Austrian national football team from their first appearance in the European Championship. In the first penalty against Greece, the Werner Gregoritsch team meets on Friday in Thessaloniki (17.00 CET in Greece oe24 Live Scores) in a famous vintage (1996 and later). But the Austrians' self-confidence after the recent successes is great, the opponent is not exaggerated.
Like in 2016, the Austrian option is the most important play-off. And yet the starting position was not comparable to that of Spain. "Contrary to the last time, there is no overwhelming opponent with Greece in front of us, I think it will be fairly balanced," Gregoric said, stressing: "We have recently shown pressure on what we can do."
A lot of confidence was drawn from the successful course in the qualifiers. "We have been working for two years, we have had a difficult qualifier with many good opponents," reminded Captain Philipp Lienhart. For a historic final in 2019, the participation in Italy / San Marino is not missing much. "Now we have one more step to go, which will be very difficult, but I am glad we can do it." The races against Russia and Serbia have shown, "said striker Adrian Grbic," that we as a team are working very well and are fighting for everybody. "This is the recipe" Greet the Greeks. "
Greeks are tough opponents
This should not be easy to achieve. The Greeks have seasoned players in their ranks, most of whom are the leading clubs with a contract. The team is led by AEK Konstantinos Galanopoulos, who is one of the five players with A-Team experience and completed the four Athenian Championship games this year. "They are very compact, they have very good individual players," says Gregoritsch.
With the help of goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis, Greece has been transferred to play-off as the best runner-up. Observers call the selection the most talented in the last ten to fifteen years. The team was successful at all ages, according to Gregoritsch. "This means they will know they are a good team".
Styrian made a glove at the Toumba Stadium of PAOK in front of 10,000 to 15,000 spectators. He referred to the PAOK and Rapid duel in August 2012, which lost to Green White 1: 2 and was overshadowed by riots. "This time it's going to be a very passionate, emotional game, so it's important to make our feelings in a positive territory and have the smart and cool atmosphere, it's a cauldron, but that's for all the players and for me coach something great. "However, the special atmosphere does not seem safe: According to current information, about 3,000 spectators are expected.
Whether Kessel or not, the ÖFB coach can choose from a powerful mix of top performers of the Bundesliga – especially the Salzburg Terminator Hannes Wolf – and eight legionnaires. In particular, the defense is occupied by Freiburg Lienhart, Kevin Danso (Augsburg), Stefan Posch (Hoffenheim) and Marco Friedl (Bremen).
In Salonica A-Xaver Schlager (Salzburg) and Konrad Laimer (Leipzig), Ajax-Legionnaire Maximilian Wöber and German twin Mathias Honsak (Kiel) and Sascha Horvath (Dresden / ill) are not included in Thessaloniki. Honsak is missing due to ankle injury, Wöber is due to a yellow card only on the second leg on Tuesday at St.Palten (19.00 clock / live ORF Sport +).