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How Austria could line up against North Macedonia

How Austria could line up against North Macedonia
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Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at how Austria could line up for their Euro 2020 opener with North Macedonia on Sunday.

Austria manager Franco Foda has a fully-fit squad to choose from ahead of Sunday's Euro 2020 Group C opener against North Macedonia.

Das Team initially had injury concerns for three key players – captain Julian Baumgartlinger, forward Marko Arnautovic and midfielder Christoph Baumgartner – heading into their final two warm-up matches earlier this month, though all three are set to be in contention to feature this weekend.

Baumgartlinger suffered a cruciate ligament injury playing for Bayer Leverkusen in January, but was able to play the final nine minutes against England. The 33-year-old is, however, unlikely to start against North Macedonia.

Hoffenheim's Baumgartner seems to have recovered from an ankle problem, having started both warm-up games against the Three Lions and Slovakia, and is set to play on the left-flank.

Meanwhile, Arnautovic – who had recently been suffering with a thigh strain – came off the bench to play the final 30 minutes against Slovakia, though the former West Ham United forward is not likely to start ahead of target man Sasa Kalajdzic, who scored 16 goals in the Bundesliga for Stuttgart last season.

RB Leipzig midfielder Marcel Sabitzer is expected to operate in a number 10 role in behind Kalajdzic, while Alessandro Schopf – Austria's only goalscorer at Euro 2016 – will be hoping he can feature on the right-wing ahead of either Valentino Lazaro or Louis Schaub.

Foda will have to decide whether to play star man David Alaba in defence or midfield, but with seemingly weaker opposition to face on Sunday, the 29-year-old may be given a role in central midfield alongside Florian Grillitsch.

This, therefore, could see Marco Friedl start at left-back and he could be joined in defence with right-back Stefan Lainer as well as centre-backs Martin Hinteregger and Aleksandar Dragovic, who are set to shield Watford goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann.

Austria possible starting lineup: Bachmann; Lainer, Dragovic, Hinteregger, Friedl; Grillitsch, Alaba; Lazaro, Sabitzer, Baumgartner; Kalajdzic

> Click here to see how North Macedonia could line up for this contest

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Austria's Christoph Baumgartner celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on March 28, 2021
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Austria Euro 2020 preview - prediction, fixtures, squad, star player
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