Like their hosts, Austria have not featured at a World Cup finals since 1998, but being drawn in a well-matched group has provided Burschen with their best opportunity in two decades.
After the famous night in Serbia, Scotland unsurprisingly delivered two below-par performances in defeats to Slovakia and Israel, ending an outstanding 2020 on a low note.
However, with three competitive matches to be played before their appearance at Euro 2020, Clarke will stress to his Tartan Army squad that places are up for grabs in the summer.
While the opportunity to represent their country at a major tournament should act as the necessary motivation, this group of players are aware that their hard work must continue in order to end their period away from the World Cup.
Although Clarke will stress that this remains a group which will throw up a range of tests, there can be no denying that avoiding the continent's biggest teams has opened a door for Scotland.
Nevertheless, improvements need to be made in the final third with Scotland scoring just six goals in eight matches since September.
In sharp contrast, Austria netted 14 times during a tougher set of fixtures, a return which only strengthens the feeling that they could run Denmark close for top spot.
Six wins were recorded during the back end of 2020, their current unbeaten streak having been stretched to six games courtesy of a last-minute equaliser against Norway in their most recent encounter.
Remarkably, nine of Austria's last 10 goals have been scored in the second half, their only effort before the break coming in the 42nd minute against Northern Ireland in October.
Provided that his team continue to churn out results and outlast the opposition, Franco Foda will remain satisfied with the progression of his side at an important stage of their development.
Despite three appearances at the European Championship being achieved since 2008, Austria are under pressure to end their 24-year wait for a return to the biggest stage.
Clarke has a number of decisions to make regarding his Scotland starting lineup, including whether to hand a start to David Marshall after his spell out through injury.
Scotland possible starting lineup:
Marshall; O'Donnell, McKenna, Gallagher, Tierney, Robertson; McGinn, McTominay, McGregor; McBurnie, Christie
Austria possible starting lineup:
Pervan; Lainer, Dragovic, Ilsanker, Ulmer; Grillitsch, Sabitzer; Schlager, Baumgartner, Alaba; Kalajdzic
We say: Scotland 1-1 Austria
While both nations will be eager to get off to a winning start, avoiding defeat at Hampden Park may take priority. With that in mind, we expect a low-scoring draw to play out, potentially with Scotland having to fend off a late rally from their opponents.