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Sep 1, 2021 at 7.45pm UK

Reabciuk (36'), Belousov (56')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Baumgartner (45'), Arnautovic (90+4')

Preview: Moldova vs. Austria - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's World Cup Qualifying clash between Moldova and Austria, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Austria will look to build on a positive Euro 2020 campaign when they travel to Moldova in World Cup qualifying on Wednesday.

Das Team got to the knockout stages of the European Championships for the first time in the summer and are now aiming to reach their first World Cup in over 20 years.

Match preview

Austria's Christoph Baumgartner celebrates scoring their first goal against Ukraine at Euro 2020 on June 21, 2021© Reuters

After finishing second in Group C, Austria took eventual champions Italy to extra time in the round of 16 at Euro 2020 before losing 2-1.

The central European nation have not qualified for the World Cup since 1998, but under German boss Franco Foda they may fancy their chances of getting to Qatar.

Foda, who has been in charge since the start of 2018, has the highest win percentage of any Austria national team manager (55%) for nearly 40 years.

Denmark are the early leaders in Group F in World Cup qualifying with maximum points after three games, but Austria will have their eyes on finishing as runners-up which will grant them a spot in the playoffs; they are only a point behind current second-place side Scotland.

Foda's team are currently fourth in the table with four points following a 2-2 draw with Scotland, a 3-1 win over the Faroe Islands and a 4-0 loss to Denmark in March.

Moldova's Ion Nicolaescu celebrates scoring their first goal on March 25, 2021© Reuters

Hosts Moldova might just be aiming to get a win on board, having picked up just five victories in their 61 World Cup qualifying matches since becoming a member of FIFA in 1994.

Needless to say that the Eastern European country have never qualified for a major tournament and are currently ranked 175th in the world – only four European nations place lower.

However, manager Roberto Bordin, appointed in February, will take hope from a 1-0 friendly win over Azerbaijan in their last outing in June.

That was Moldova's first victory in 17 matches, but they have not won a competitive match since beating Andorra 1-0 in Euro 2020 qualifying in June 2019.

Bordin's side sit bottom of Group F after a 1-1 draw with the Faroe Islands in their first game before an 8-0 defeat to Denmark and a 4-1 defeat to Israel; only Gibraltar have conceded more goals so far in European qualifying.

Wednesday will be the seventh meeting between the two countries – Austria have won five of the previous six including both games in World Cup qualifying four years ago.

Moldova World Cup Qualifying form:
  • D
  • L
  • L

Moldova form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W

Austria World Cup Qualifying form:
  • D
  • W
  • L

Austria form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L

Team News

Austria coach Franco Foda on March 31, 2021© Reuters

Moldova have four players suspended for this game – Igor Armas, Vadim Rata and Catalin Carp all picked up two yellow cards during the qualifiers in March, while Ion Nicolaescu was sent off against Israel.

Roberto Bordin should be able to welcome back the experience of goalkeeper Stanislav Namasco and defender Alexandru Epureanu, both 34, after the pair were unavailable for June's friendlies.

Former Torino striker Vitalie Damascan is expected to lead the line after scoring the winning goal against Azerbaijan.

Austria captain Julian Baumgartlinger has been forced to pull out of their squad due to a recurring knee injury.

David Alaba's role in Austria's team can change game by game; he played in defence throughout Euro 2020 but featured in midfield in the first three World Cup qualifiers in March.

PSV defender Phillipp Mwene is the only uncapped player in Franco Foda's squad.

Moldova possible starting lineup:
Namasco; Posmac, Bolohan, Epureanu; Jardan, Ionita, Cojocari, Reabciuk; Platica, Costrov; Damascan

Austria possible starting lineup:
Bachmann; Lainer, Dragovic, Hinteregger, Ulmer; Grillitsch; Laimer, Sabitzer, Alaba, Baumgartner; Arnautovic

SM words green background

We say: Moldova 0-3 Austria

Buoyed by their performance at Euro 2020, Austria should come into these World Cup qualifiers full of confidence and they will expect to get past Moldova fairly easily. The hosts are the whipping boys of this group and this is unlikely to be their only convincing defeat this month.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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