Austria vs Northern Ireland
Competition: UEFA Nations League
Date: 12 October 2018
Kick-off: 20:45 CET
Austria’s 1-0 defeat in Bosnia and Herzegovina last month was some sort of… punch on the face, more like on the side of the head, on the ear, which leaves you both dizzy and… half-deaf. It was just 1-0, it wasn’t the score that felt like a punch, but the defeat itself. Why? They had lost just one of their previous 10 matches, and that was to Brazil, in a friendly game. They had beaten teams like Serbia, Uruguay, Slovenia, Russia, even Germany, and last but not least, Sweden, in a friendly game, just before traveling to BiH. They had spent months and months building a momentum, and in their first official match, in which points really mattered, they lost. “Just” 1-0, away from home, to a good team, no doubt, and conceding late, in the 78th minute, but… they lost.
Unlike Austria, Northern Ireland hadn’t been… impressive in their friendly games since the end of the World Cup qualifiers, but it still hurt losing to Bosnia and Herzegovina on their Nations League debut, and, most of all, losing “easily”, at home. They were 0-1 down at halftime, 0-2 down by the 64th minute, and all they managed was a consolation goal (by Will Grigg!) in added time. Three days later they beat Israel 3-0 at home in a friendly game, looking good, but it feels like their target of finishing first in the group is already missed. They need a spectacular comeback in Vienna to get back into the qualification race with a real chance of finishing first.
Previous five matches:
Bosnia and Herzegovina vs Austria 1-0
Austria vs Sweden 2-0
Austria vs Brazil 0-3
Austria vs Germany 2-1
Austria vs Russia 1-0
Northern Ireland vs Israel 3-0
Northern Ireland vs Bosnia and Herzegovina 1-2
Costa Rica vs Northern Ireland 3-0
Panama vs Northern Ireland 0-0
Northern Ireland vs South Korea 2-1
Austria’s next game is in Denmark, on Tuesday (friendly). On Monday, Northern Ireland are playing in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Nations League).
Austria vs Northern Ireland: Head to head Stats
Austria have hosted Northern Ireland four times in the past; they have beaten them twice, one game has gone Northern Ireland’s way, and one has ended in a draw. Total goals, 5-2.
Austria vs Northern Ireland: Prediction
The hosts are expected to win the game. With all due respect to Northern Ireland (and their awesome fans), I’m of the same opinion, I don’t see the visitors avoid defeat in Vienna.
Austria vs Northern Ireland: Betting Tips
A simple Austria win is at 1.50. Bookies expect the game to have up to two goals, but I’m going against the odds. “Over 2.5” is at 2.05, and combined with Austria’s win pays an even better 2.45.