England comes to EURO 2020 as one of the biggest favorites to win that competition. That is why they want to have the most demanding possible preparation period, and why they picked Austria as the first opponent. The Three Lions haven’t been that persuasive over the last few months, and they don’t have too much time to erase all the issues before the tournament starts. Austria, meanwhile, also participates at EURO, and even though they might have lower ambitions than their next rivals, this team too wants to make a notable appearance.
England (-250) has four wins in a row against Iceland, San Marino, Albania, and Poland, with a total goal difference during this stretch, 14-1. The only time this unit allowed a goal was against Poland, in a match they’ve won 2-1. But we need to say that England didn’t look very well during those 90 minutes.
The Three Lions have seven wins, two losses, and one draw over the previous 10 games. They’ve lost to Belgium on the road, 2-0, Denmark at home, 0-1, and played without goals against the same rivals only on the road.
They tend to have problems against teams who have tough defenses, and once they can’t use counter-attacks which are their primary weapon.
Austria (+700) had a rough period recently, as their start in the World Cup qualifiers didn’t go as planned. First, they played 2-2 in Scotland and after that defeated the Faroe Islands at home, 3-1, before suffering a knockout to Denmark who rolled over them in Vienna, 0-4.
It was the first match following 10 straight in which Austria couldn’t score, something they do very often. Overall, once looking at their performances, the Boys, as the fans call them, play open and without restrictions, not being afraid to attack regardless of the rival across the pitch.
That is why four games before the one against Belgium, all saw both teams to score.
Harry Maguire isn’t ready to play due to an injury, while all the players who appeared in the Europa and the Champions League finals won’t take any action in this event.
The biggest handicap for Austria is the fact that West Ham’s striker, Marko Arnautovic, isn’t eligible due to an injury. Stefan Ilsinker is questionable.
Head to Head Games
In 18 meetings so far, England posted 10 triumphs, while Austria has four, with four ending without winners.
The most recent game took place in 2007, fourteen years ago. Back then, in one friendly international, England won on the road, 0-1.
We can’t see too many goals here because both sides will have some notable absences, especially English. The hosts’ win should come without any problems, regardless of the missing players, but do know that it won’t be a convincing one, 1 or 2-0 at most. It is the way England plays. They score and further wait for the opponents to attack, before unleashing counter-attacks and punish them. Austria is a solid team, and we do respect them, but in our opinion, they would need a huge amount of luck for getting out of Middlesbrough undefeated.
Pick: England wins
Under 2.5 goals
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.