BETTING & MATCH PREDICTION
On Thursday night, Wales and Austria clash in Cardiff in one of the World Cup play-off semi-finals, with both teams eying a place in the final.
The Dragons finished second-place in their group, five points behind eventual group winners Belgium. Considering the quality of the Red Devil’s, a second-place finish was always the likely best outcome for Robert Page’s team.
Wales finished their group campaign with a seven-game unbeaten run, recording four wins and three draws. They drew 1-1 with Belgium in their last game of Group E, which was a highly creditable result.
The draw may have surprised some, but Wales have a strong recent home record, as they are currently on a run of 16 matches unbeaten on home soil. They have also suffered just one home loss in their previous ten home World Cup qualifiers.
The visitors finished fourth-place in Group F behind Denmark, Scotland and Israel. They were a massive 11 points adrift of group winners Denmark, who qualified for Qatar 2022 automatically. Despite their relatively lowly position in the group, Austria won three of their last four qualifiers. The wins were not enough to redeem themselves, as automatic qualification was well out of reach by then. However, Austria qualified for the play-off semi-finals due to their performance in the Nations League.
Back to World Cup qualifying and Austria’s inconsistent away form played a part in their eventual fourth-place finish, as they won just two of their last five World Cup qualifiers on their travels.
Wales are without midfielder Joe Morrell due to suspension. Meanwhile, Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale is also a fitness doubt, although he is expected to recover to feature.
Austria have no reported injury absentees. Their main issue is whether Watford’s Daniel Bachmann or Heinz Lindner will start in goal.
Wales vs Austria Match Prediction
This tie could be a hard-fought one. However, we are backing Wales to record a narrow victory and progress to the play-off final.
PREDICTION – WALES WIN
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Odds correct at time of publication – please check with your bookmaker before placing a bet as fluctuations can occur.