This has never happened to the Austrian national football team in the past few decades: the team’s charter plane is only taking off this morning for Luxembourg. At 8.30 p.m. you then fulfill the duty of the friendly international match against Luxembourg – with a selection that will probably never be on the field again in this combination. There are a total of 15 excursions.
The five legioners David Alaba, Marcel Sabitzer, Xaver Schlager, Christoph Baumgartner and Stefan Lainer, who are particularly stressed by the triple exposure in Germany, are spared. The Salzburg Cican Stankovic and Andreas Ulmer were nominated after their negative corona tests contrary to the original announcement by FB sports director Peter Schttel. However, only for the Nations League against Northern Ireland (Sunday) and Norway (Wednesday). Then there are the four injured Alessandro Schpf, Florian Kainz, Konrad Laimer and Stefan Posch – as well as Marko Arnautovic (in China) and Florian Grillitsch (personal reasons).
Wiesinger subsequently nominated
Because Maximilian Ullmann (precautionary measure after a positive pool test at Rapid) and Marco Friedl (travel restrictions) are missing in addition to Alaba and Ulmer, team boss Franco Foda does not have a left wing defender in the squad. LASK player Reinhold Ranftl may have to change sides. Foda nominated Philipp Wiesinger as an alternative: The 26-year-old was called up for the first time and is the fifth athlete in the current team roster.
As a team boss, Foda must of course not ask himself the question of whether today’s game makes sense. “There are no pointless games. We can still try something with regard to the Nations League.” The list will only be fixed in the afternoon. “You just have to improvise a lot and be flexible at the moment. We also have to wait and see what develops over the course of the day. We are in times when things can change every hour. The past two days have already been more turbulent than expected.” Martin Hinteregger will lead the FB team as captain today. “For players like me who are not in the European Cup, three international matches in a row are no problem.”
Luxembourg on the up
Opponent Luxembourg is also on the up thanks to a number of naturalizations. Leandro Barreiro, FSV Mainz player with Portuguese roots, has a market value of four million euros. Today, however, team boss Luc Holtz will field a B-Elf because the Luxembourgers could celebrate a special success in the Nations League next week. You go into the two crucial group matches in Pool C as the group leaders with Montenegro, Azerbaijan and Cyprus. If you were promoted, you would then play in pool B at a level like currently Austria.
Deputy Head of Sports Department
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