Football AnalysisWCQ: Wales Vs Austria – Match preview
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The ‘Dragons’ ultimately ended five points behind top-placed Belgium in World Cup Qualification Group E.


Wales head into this FIFA World Cup Qualification play-off semi-final against Austria with the hope of an entire nation resting on their shoulders as they look to reach a World Cup finals for the first time since 1958. The ‘Dragons’ ultimately ended five points behind top-placed Belgium in World Cup Qualification Group E. However, a 1-1 draw against FIFA’s current top-ranked nation in their last group game proved enough to edge out the Czech Republic for second place. Their return to the Cardiff City Stadium for this clash could prove all-important. Wales went undefeated at home through the World Cup Qualification group stage, limiting their opposition to one or fewer strikes each time. That streak has now aided a longer run in which Wales have gone unbeaten across their last 16 home outings in all competitions – their longest ever such run in history!


Austria arrive here in search of a vital knockout victory as they look to qualify for their first World Cup finals since France 1998, despite only finishing fourth in World Cup Qualification Group F. Their progression to this stage was instead aided by their success in the UEFA Nations League (League B, Group 1). After also winning three of their last four international outings, they shouldn’t be written off here. Winning just two of their prior six away internationals remains largely uninspiring form for Austria, though, especially as both of those wins came against lowly-ranked opposition (Faroe Islands & Moldova). In fact, Austria haven’t won an away match against the opposition currently ranked better than Wales (20th) since defeating Sweden 4-1 all the way back in September 2015!


Wales’ Harry Wilson grabbed four-goal contributions across six World Cup Qualification appearances, with all three assists coming across his last three outings. Meanwhile, Austria’s Marko Arnautovic has been involved in 13 goals across his last 14 World Cup Qualification matches! Wales scored before half-time in their prior four World Cup Qualification fixtures.