World Cup 2014: Austria feeling the pressure
Austria must beat Faroe Islands to keep their 2014 World Cup dream alive
In order to keep their dream of qualifying for next summer's World Cup finals in Brazil alive, Austria must try to secure maximum points against Faroe Islands on Friday.
The OFB take on the Group C strugglers in Vienna's Ernst-Happel Stadium. With only four points from three qualification games so far, this is a must-win game for Austria.
While considered the heavy favourites to win this match, Austria are not taking this game lightly and know that they must give everything in order to prevent their opponents from leaving Vienna with any points. The Faroe Islands are currently bottom of Group C with zero points, but Austria only sit in fourth.
Coming off a friendly loss to a Gareth Bale-inspired Wales team in February, the Austrians are eager to prove they can qualify for the next World Cup, but it will not be easy.
While the current top scorer in the Austria squad, Marc Janko, has only featured for Trabzonspor twice since the turn of 2013, his 21-year-old teammate Andreas Weimann has been a permanent fixture in Aston Villa's starting XI and is expected to play on Friday.
The young forward has scored 11 times for his club this season, including a vital goal against QPR on Saturday and an assist to Christian Benteke for the winning goal in the same match.
While Austria coach Marcel Koller is likely to start Janko, who scored twice in the last qualifying match against Kazakhstan, it is likely that Weimann will play either through the middle or on the wing.
Although the Aston Villa man prefers the middle, he stated he also feels comfortable playing on the flanks and with Martin Harnik, who usually fills that position, suffering from illness he could very well start against the Faroe Islands.
Austria's first-choice goalkeeper Rober Almer will be out with an injury and Austria's coaching staff are unsure who will play between the posts on Friday. Ramazan Ozcan could appear from the start of the game but 22-year-old Heinz Lindner could be a better option, as he has impressed lately for his Austria Wien team in the Austrian Bundesliga.
Whatever Koller decides had better be good, because although Austria are likely to take away three points in this match, nothing is certain in football.
The last time these two teams met Austria came away with all points in a 3-1 victory. The only thing which is certain is that this game is a must-win for Austria.
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