Ralf Rangnick’s Austria Showing Promise at Euro 2024

Austria beat the Netherlands 3-2 on the matchday 3 of European Championships to top group D with six points from three matches. They finished above France and the Dutch in the group and will face Türkiye in their round of 16 clash on Tuesday, July 2.
Ralf Rangnick’s men have been one of the most impressive teams in the tournament so far. Their narrow defeat to France in their opening game was a reversal, but they have bounced back really well since then. Topping what was touted as the “group of death” at the start of the tournament has been some achievement.

Marcel Sabitzer Key to Austria’s Plans

Sabitzer, the 30-year-old Borussia Dortmund midfielder, is one of the key players in the Austrian side. He shares a Manchester United connection with his manager, as both have worked with the Red Devils in the past. However, neither men’s stint at the club was very long.
In the current Austrian team, Sabitzer has been playing in a more advanced role than he usually does for his club. He is playing behind the striker in a 4-4-1-1 and at times, goes further ahead to play is one of the forwards in a 4-4-2.
Marko Arnautović, the 35-year-old veteran striker, plays alongside him upfront. Sabitzer’s movement and passing in the final third was crucial in the Austrians’ win over the Netherlands. He ran the back-three of the Dutch ragged with his intelligent movement and also scored the match-winner.
Arnautović has also played for Premier League clubs West Ham United and Stoke City in the past and has enough experience in top-flight football. He is currently at Inter Milan on loan from Bologna.
With young Patrick Wimmer also catching eyes as a left-sided midfielder, the Austrians have enough firepower in their attack that has enabled them to score six goals in their last two matches. Only Germany has scored more goals as a team in the tournament so far.
That is an impressive piece of statistics, which becomes even more praiseworthy considering that the Germans scored five of them in a single match against Scotland, which amplified their tally. Austria was actually the more dominant team in the match against the Dutch, which speaks volumes of their offensive strength.
Hence, most of the teams will be wary of Austria’s attacking might in the tournament. It remains to be seen whether Türkiye are able to withstand it.

Austria Will Be Slight Favourites Against the Turks

Türkiye has shown a lot of promise in their qualification from their group with players like Arda Güler and Hakan Çalhanoğlu in their line-up. However, Austria will still be the slight favourites going into their round of 16 match. It should be a thoroughly entertaining match, with both teams being capable of playing free-flowing, attacking football.
If Rangnick’s men play up to their potential, they should be able to reach the quarterfinal of Euro 2024. It will be a fine achievement for a nation that hardly has a run in major tournaments in their history worth talking about. Maybe, this team will be able to reverse the tide in this regard.

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