Austria vs Belgium Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

Austria and Belgium will look to preserve their unbeaten run in UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifiers when they lock horns on Friday at the Ernst Happel Stadion in Group F.

It is a battle for supremacy in Group F of the UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifiers as Austria will host Belgium in a top-of-the-table showdown.

Austria have made a strong qualification campaign, remaining unbeaten after five matches and on track to qualify for next year’s tournament. As a result, Ralf Rangnick’s side currently sit second in Group F, level on points with Belgium but with an inferior goal difference.

The hosts are coming off a 3-1 win over Sweden in their previous qualifying fixture. After the break, they raced to a three-goal lead thanks to a brace from Marko Arnautovic and a Michael Gregoritsch strike before the Swedes pulled a consolation back.

As impressive as Austria have been in these qualifiers, they will have an uphill task against table-toppers Belgium. The Red Devils were ruthless in their last qualifying fixture, as they ran out 5-0 winners over Estonia. Romelu Lukaku netted a second-half brace, while Jan Vertonghen, Leandro Trossard, and Charles De Ketelaere were also on the scoresheet.

The visitors have yet to taste defeat in the qualifiers, having claimed four wins and a draw from five matches. And they are at the top of Group F due to a superior goal difference.

Both teams played out a 1-1 scoreline in the reverse fixture back in June, with Romelu Lukaku getting the equaliser for Belgium after Michael Gregoritsch had put Austria into the lead. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at this fixture and tries to predict the tactics they could use.

Team News and Tactics


Austria will be without the services of their captain, David Alaba, who will miss the October round of international fixtures after picking up a muscle injury.

Stefan Posch (thigh), Gernot Trauner (knee), and star striker Marko Arnautovic (thigh) are other notable injury absentees in Ralf Rangnick’s squad, while Marcel Sabitzer and Christoph Baumgartner are both nursing knocks. But they should be fit to feature in some capacity on Friday.

Rangnick is expected to go ahead with the 4-4-2 formation, where Alexander Schlager will be in goal. Kevin Danso and Maximilian Wober will start out wide on each flank as the full-backs. In the heart of the defence, Philipp Lienhart will pair up with Flavius Daniliuc.

Konrad Laimer and Patrick Wimmer will start out wide in the centre of the park. The duo will look to provide width to their attack and also help out their full-backs when needed. Nicolas Seiwald and Xaver Schlager will start in the central roles, and they will look to control the pace of this game.

Freiburg striker Michael Gregoritsch, who has impressed for Austria in recent times with five goals in his last six matches across all competitions, will spearhead the attack alongside Junior Adamu.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Alexander Schlager; Danso, Daniliuc, Lienhart, Wober; Laimer, Xaver Schlager, Seiwald, Wimmer; Adamu, Gregoritsch


Leandro Trossard (hamstring) and Ameen Al-Dakhil (unspecified) have been forced to withdraw from the squad due to respective injury concerns. Kevin De Bruyne is out with a hamstring injury. Thibaut Courtois is facing an extended spell on the sidelines after tearing his ACL.

In Courtois’ absence, Koen Casteels will continue in between the sticks ahead of Matz Sels and uncapped duo Thomas Kaminski and Arnaud Bodart.

While Belgium have impressed going forward, another reason for their superior goal difference is their solid defence. They have conceded just once in the qualifiers, and the credit goes to the back four of Jan Vertonghen, Wout Faes, Timothy Castagne, and Arthur Theate.

Charles De Ketelaere looks revived in his loan spell at Atalanta and could take Trossard’s spot on the right wing for this one. Meanwhile, Manchester City’s Jeremy Doku will provide an electric presence on the left wing. The duo will look to link up with star striker Romelu Lukaku. Lois Openda has been in red-hot form for RB Leipzig at the start of the season but will have to contend with a spot on the bench.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3)Casteels; Castagne, Faes, Vertonghen, Theate; Tielemans, Mangala, Onana; De Ketelaere, Lukaku, Doku

Key Stats

  • Austria come into this one unbeaten in their last eight matches, with their last defeat coming against Croatia in the Nations League over a year ago.
  • Seven of the last nine meetings between them have produced under 2.5 goals.
  • The visitors, meanwhile, are unbeaten in their last seven games.
  • Austria have been winless in their last six games.
  • Belgium have won 18 of their last 19 games in the European qualifiers.

Player to Watch

Romelu Lukaku

Embed from Getty Images

Romelu Lukaku has had a blistering start to life at AS Roma, scoring seven goals in eight appearances in all competitions. The striker has also been on target nine times in his last six international matches across all competitions for Belgium and could be the difference-maker for the visitors.


Austria 1-1 Belgium

Both teams have been almost lockstep throughout the qualification campaign. And with little to separate them at the moment, Austria and Belgium could cancel each other out this Friday.

Ralf Rangnick’s men will not be intimidated by the Red Devils, having held them to a draw in Belgium, and the home advantage could be vital here. Although Belgium still boast a number of world-class players, Austria are exceptional on transitions and defensively stout. Still, it will be a tough task for Belgium to overcome them. So, backing a draw is well worth considering.

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