Austria Euro 2024 squad, predicted line-up versus France, latest odds and star players

1 week ago 18

FORMER Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick has transformed Austria since taking the job two years ago and will be hoping to be a dark horse in his home country.

Rangnick, who snubbed Bayern Munich to stay with the national side, has got them playing much more attacking football which saw them beat hosts Germany in November as well as putting six past Turkey in March.

AP
Austria are developing into a force[/caption]

The squad boasts a number of players from the Red Bull system which Rangnick was so integral to, something which has only helped the veteran boss.

Should they make it out of a tricky group the Austrians could be a surprise success story.

Manager: Ralf Rangnick

Played for Southwick in the Sussex County League and ended up managing Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford.

AP
Ralf Rangnick has worked wonders in the role[/caption]

Key man: Christoph Baumgartner

The RB Leipzig midfielder scored the quickest goal in international history after six seconds against Slovakia in March.

The 24-year-old has been superb under Rangnick.

Likely line-up

Austria like to set up in a 4-2-3-1 with two midfielders protecting the back four.

That allows Christophe Baumgartner, Marcel Sabitzer and Konrad Laimer plenty of licence to get forwards.

Michael Gregoritsch is a powerful presence up front and has a decent strike rate in domestic and international football.

How they attack

Of all of the teams coming into the European Championships this summer Austria are arguably the most interesting from a tactical perspective.

Under Rangnick we have seen them transform into a progressive and aggressive unit who will make life extremely hard for their opponents.

They remain an interesting team despite the fact that they have been put into group D with France, the Netherlands and Poland.

Austria are brave in possession and they will build their attacks from deeper areas.

We expect to see them line up in a 4-2-3-1 – and the two deeper midfielders will split and rotate, with one dropping in to help progress the ball.

Expect to see Austria also use their goalkeeper effectively as they build their attack. 

The Austrian goalkeeper is outside the area to make a three with the central defenders. The ball is then safely progressed into space as a deeper midfielder drops in to receive the pass

If the opposition decide to press high to look to regain the ball, as many teams in this tournament are likely to do, Austria will pass and act aggressively in order to move the ball up the pitch to attack space behind the press.

They will rotate the ball across the back line before then acting more aggressively to play around the block

Slovakia press the Austrians but they rotate the ball out wide to the fullback who plays it inside, around the opposition

When Austria do suddenly change tempo and switch to being more aggressive and vertical in their approach they are typically quick to push players into advanced positions.

They play with a targetman and will play quickly into them and then move to support from behind.

After a simple knockdown from the striker they then have players in advanced attacking positions.

In this example Austria have pulled the Germans on to press them and they change the tempo to quickly attack with a direct pass

How they defend

Given that Rangnick is well known for developing an aggressive gegenpressing style in his club career we can expect to see the same from the Austrians in this tournament.

They will squeeze high to press the ball as the opposition build the attack but they are typically intelligent when doing so.

Austria will set traps for the opposition to try to draw the ball into central spaces before looking to regain possession.

Germany are building their attack but the Austrians are quick to pounce when the ball is played into midfield and they swarm around the man on the ball

As soon as the ball is played into that area we then see the them jump and press.

Austria will work to make sure that there is little space between their units in order to deny the opposition any areas that they can play into as they attack.

They are extremely aggressive when the opposition makes a mistake and this shape allows them to be flexible with the way that they defend.

Here Austria keep a compact defensive shape as they aggressively play high and deny any easy space

If the opposition do win the ball in higher positions then we see the Austrians immediately look to pressure the ball.

If they can’t win it straight back they will at least slow the opportunity that the opposition have to play quickly forward to attack space.

Slovakia have won back possession in the wide area but immediately there are four players for Austria who look to regain possession.

Prediction

Austria face a tough task against France and the Netherlands, while Poland will not roll over.

If they manage to top Group D, they will face the runners-up from Group F which features the Czech Republic, Turkey, Georgia and Portugal.

Belgium could be lurking in the quarter-finals and favourites England in the semis.

If they finish second, the runner-up from Group E – potentially Ukraine or Romania – would be next.

On that half of the draw, Portugal could be up in the quarter-finals with Croatia, Spain and Italy potential last-four rivals.

Latest odds

Austria are an improving team, but the draw has not been kind to them.

They may be an attractive each-way long shot at 80/1 with William Hill.

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