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Austria national football team
Euro Champ Qualifying | Group Stage
Oct 13, 2023 at 7.45pm UK
Belgium national football team

2 - 3

Laimer (72'), Sabitzer (84' pen.)
Grillitsch (15'), Seiwald (40'), Wimmer (54'), Laimer (77')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Lukebakio (12', 55'), Lukaku (58')
Mangala (24'), Onana (35'), Castagne (63'), Lukaku (78')
Onana (78')

Preview: Austria vs. Belgium - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Euro Champ Qualifying clash between Austria and Belgium, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

The top two teams in Group F of Euro 2024 qualifying go head to head at the Ernst Happel Stadion on Friday as Austria play host to Belgium.

Both nations are sitting on 13 points after five matches and know that a victory here will book their place at next year's tournament in Germany.

Match preview

Austria's Michael Gregoritsch celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on September 12, 2023© Reuters

Austria are on course to qualify for their third successive European Championships after winning four and drawing one of their first five matches in Group F, scoring 12 goals and conceding only four in the process.

Victories over Azerbaijan and Estonia were recorded before beating Sweden both home and away in their last two qualifiers, including a 3-1 win in Stockholm last month, and the only time that Das Team have dropped points in Group F was when they played out a 1-1 draw with Belgium in the reverse fixture held in Brussels four months ago.

Ralf Rangnick's side are only behind leaders Belgium on goal difference, but they crucially sit seven points clear of third-placed Sweden and need to claim just three more points from their final three games to secure their spot at Euro 2024.

Ranked 25th in the world by FIFA, Austria boast an impressive home record in Euro qualifying as they have won 11 of their last 12 matches on their own turf dating back to October 2014.

However, Das Team have failed to win any of their last six meetings with Belgium and last came out on top against the Red Devils back in June 1959 when they won a friendly 4-2 on home soil.

Belgium's Romelu Lukaku celebrates after Yannick Carrasco scores their first goal on September 9, 2023© Reuters

Like Austria, Belgium are on the cusp of qualifying for their third consecutive European Championships, although they are unable to match their perfect 10 wins from 10 in qualifying for the 2020 tournament having already dropped points in the aforementioned draw with Das Team this time around.

Since their disappointing group-stage exit at the 2022 World Cup, the Red Devils have won five and drawn one of their first six games in all competitions under new head coach Domenico Tedesco, with a thumping 5-0 home victory over Estonia in their most recent Euro 2024 qualifier helping them climb to the summit of Group F on goal difference.

Belgium have had few problems scoring goals for some time as they have remarkably found the net in 57 of their last 60 internationals across all competitions dating back to the 2018 World Cup; only Portugal (24), Switzerland (17), England (16) and Spain (16) have scored more than Belgium in Euro 2024 qualifying at this stage.

The Red Devils may be without the presence of Eden Hazard – who announced his international retirement in December last year before hanging up his boots altogether on Tuesday – but they can still call upon their all-time leading scorer Romelu Lukaku to provide the goods up front; the Roma loanee is the top scorer in Euro 2024 qualifying with eight goals in just five games, two more than his nearest challengers.

Belgium, ranked fifth in the world by FIFA, head to the Ernst Happel Stadion looking to claim their second successive victory on Austrian soil after winning their last visit by a 2-0 scoreline in Euro 2012 qualifying; the Red Devils have won each of their last 10 away games in Euro qualifying since a 1-0 loss to Wales in June 2015.

Austria Euro Champ Qualifying form:

Austria form (all competitions):

Belgium Euro Champ Qualifying form:

Belgium form (all competitions):

Team News

Johan Bakayoko in action for Belgium in June 2023© Reuters

Austria will be without defensive trio David Alaba (muscle), Stefan Posch (thigh) and Gernot Trauner (knee) due to injury, while forward Marko Arnautovic is also absent with a thigh problem.

Marcel Sabitzer and Christoph Baumgartner are both nursing knocks but they should be fit to feature in some capacity on Friday, with the former hoping to retain his spot on the left side of a midfield four alongside Bayern Munich teammate Konrad Laimer and RB Leipzig duo Xaver Schlager and Nicolas Seiwald.

Michael Gregoritsch, who scored in the 1-1 draw with Belgium earlier this year, is also a minor doubt but will hope to earn his 50th international cap in attack alongside either Sasa Kalajdzic or Junior Adamu.

As for Belgium, Leandro Trossard (hamstring) and Ameen Al-Dakhil (unspecified) have both withdrawn from the squad due to injury; 18-year-old Antwerp midfielder Arthur Vermeeren has since received his first call-up, while Standard Liege defender Zinho Vanheusden – on loan from Inter Milan – will be hoping to make his first senior international appearance since his debut in 2020.

Kevin De Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois are two other notable stars out injured, and the latter's absence will likely see Koen Casteels continue in goal ahead of Matz Sels and uncapped duo Thomas Kaminski and Arnaud Bodart.

Jan Vertonghen scored on his 150th international appearances last month, and the 36-year-old is set to partner Wout Faes in central defence in between full-backs Timothy Castagne and Arthur Theate, while Premier League trio Amadou Onana, Youri Tielemans and Orel Mangala could all start in centre-midfield.

Yannick Carrasco, Jeremy Doku and Johan Bakayoko are all in contention to play on the flanks either side of central striker Lukaku, who scored one of his 77 international goals in the draw with Austria in June.

Austria possible starting lineup:
Schlager; Danso, Daniliuc, Lienhart, Wober; Laimer, Schlager, Seiwald, Sabitzer; Adamu, Gregoritsch

Belgium possible starting lineup:
Casteels; Castagne, Faes, Vertonghen, Theate; Tielemans, Mangala, Onana; Bakayoko, Lukaku, Doku

SM words green background

We say: Austria 1-2 Belgium

An entertaining Group F contest could in store on Friday between two nations who will want to clinch qualification for Euro 2024 with a victory and get the job done with two games to spare.

Both teams are missing a few key players, but we believe that Belgium have the edge in the final third, particular with an in-form Lukaku set to lead the line, and they should outscore the hosts en route to claiming maximum points.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:curl

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Group A

Q Spain Spain870121
Q Scotland flag Scotland852117
3 Norway Norway832311
4 Georgia Georgia82248
5 Cyprus Cyprus80080

Group B

Q France France871022
Q Netherlands Netherlands860218
3 Greece Greece841313
4 Ireland Rep. Ireland82066
5 Gibraltar flag Gibraltar80080

Group C

Q England flag England862020
Q Italy Italy842214
3 Ukraine Ukraine842214
4 Macedonia N. Macedonia82248
5 Malta flag Malta80080

Group D

Q Turkey Turkey852117
Q Croatia Croatia851216
3 Wales flag Wales833212
4 Armenia Armenia82248
5 Latvia Latvia81073

Group E

Q Albania national flag Albania843115
Q Czech Republic Czech Republic843115
3 Poland Poland832311
4 Republic of Moldova Moldova824210
5 Faroe Islands Faroe Islands80262

Group F

Q Belgium Belgium862020
Q Austria Austria861119
3 Sweden Sweden831410
4 Azerbaijan Azerbaijan82157
5 Estonia Estonia80171

Group G

Q Hungary Hungary853018
Q Serbia Serbia842214
3 Montenegro Montenegro832311
4 Lithuania Lithuania81346
5 Bulgaria Bulgaria80444

Group H

Q Denmark Denmark1071222
Q Slovenia Slovenia1071222
3 Finland Finland1060418
4 Kazakhstan Kazakhstan1060418
5 Northern Ireland flag N. Ireland103079
6 San Marino flag San Marino1000100

Group I

Q Romania Romania1064022
Q Switzerland Switzerland1045117
3 Israel Israel1043315
4 Belarus Belarus1033412
5 Kosovo flag Kosovo1025311
6 Andorra flag Andorra100282

Group J

Q Portugal Portugal10100030
Q Slovakia Slovakia1071222
3 Luxembourg flag Luxembourg1052317
4 Iceland Iceland1031610
5 Bosnia Bosnia H'vina103079
6 Liechtenstein flag Liechtenstein1000100

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