Spain vs. Austria / European Championship Qualifiers (U-21) – Rematch in the play-off for the European Championship in which Spain is even bigger favourite than it was before the first match in which they didn’t fully justify that epithet. The first match ended without a winner 1-1 and decision who qualifies for the European championship will be brought in this rematch, in which young Spanish team will enjoy the home-field advantage. The Austrians gave their best at home and have managed to avoid defeat, while now all will be much harder. Fact that they drew their last match in Spain 1-1 in 2014 gives them a slight hope. Begins: 15.11.2016 – 18:00 CET
The Spaniards hope that can resolve all dilemmas in the first leg but they failed in that intention. Now, they have the rematch to finish the job. They were favourites before the first match, although what they showed in qualifications wasn’t exactly in accordance with perceived strength of their team. They drew both matches against the Swedish, both times by 1-1, while Croatia outclassed them at home 3-0. It turns out that Spain played better away and that should be taken as a warning before this rematch. In the first leg they took a lead in the best possible moment, in the finish of first halftime, from penalty realised by the team captain Deulofeu.
Half an hour before the end they received goal for which they can blame no one but themselves. Tragic hero was Jonny Castro who should play at right winger position but Bellerin was injured and he jumped in the team instead of him, despite that he was planned to pay on the left flank, where Gaya was complaining about injury but he nevertheless played. M. Llorente stayed on the bench, while Oliver got chance. First choice in attack was Williams and not Munir. Now, Valencia’s forward might start the match instead of his counterpart from Athletic Bilbao, which would be the only change in the team compared to the first leg.
Probable lineups Spain: Arrizabalaga – Jonny Castro, Vallejo, Mere, Gaya – Saul Niguez, Oliver, D. Suarez – Deulofeu, Asensio, Munir
The Austrians had far more problems with the team before the first leg and all in all they could be happy with the final 1-1. They perhaps even had a chance to win. They hadn’t surrendered after Spain took the lead and they were rewarded for that with Spain’s own goal which equalised the results. Now, they will play to make sensation and will have a stronger team. Before the first leg Lazaro and Grillitsch were out of action, who were very important players, and then Murg got injured. Schalke 04 midfielder Schopf was invited in national senior team, which are all big handicaps for coach Gregoritsch, who then surprised with several new names in the starting line-up.
Sitssam and Gruber were nowhere to be seen, while forward Freisenbichler stayed on the bench and Dovedan played instead. Now, left winger Martschink will not play for sure as he earned third yellow card in the first leg, but later on Schopf joined the team, given the seniors don’t have obligations this week. HSV’s forward M. Gregoritsch is now in the starting line-up, just like Schaub, and it can be said that Austria is definitely stronger than in the first match.
Probable lineups Austria: Bachmann – Mwene, Schoissengeyr, Lienhart, Sallahi – Wydra, Laimer – M. Gregoritsch, Schopf, Schaub – Freisenbichler
Spain – Austria PICK
We have said that Spain is a great favourite, however, we shouldn’t write off Austria in advance which managed to parry in the first match and now will be stronger for several important players. That is why we believe that they will be tough nut to crack for the Spaniards, which will result with few goals.
Pick: under 3 goals
Odds: 1.86 at comeon (down to 1.76 can be played)