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Wales v Austria – BBC Sport

World Cup 2018: Qualification will go to the wire, says Wales’ Chris Coleman

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Wales have no fresh injury concerns for Saturday’s vital World Cup qualifier against Austria, but midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Joe Ledley might struggle to play the full 90 minutes.

Ramsey has returned to training after a calf knock, while Ledley has not played yet this season as he is unattached.

Wales are without Stoke midfielder Joe Allen and Aston Villa left-back Neil Taylor because of suspensions.

Austria’s ex-Cardiff forward Guido Burgstaller is out with a bruised foot.

Stefan Hierlander, of SK Storm Graz, has been called up as the replacement for 11 times capped Burgstaller.


There will be little room for error when third-placed Wales take on an Austrian side who are fourth, but only trail Chris Coleman’s men on goal difference.

Both teams are four points behind Group D’s joint leaders Serbia and the Republic of Ireland with four games left.

Only the nine group winners qualify automatically for next year’s World Cup in Russia, while the eight best group runners-up will enter the play-offs.

We go inside the Wales HQ ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Austria.

Coleman has previously said Wales need to win their remaining four fixtures to have any hope of topping the group, and Austria will be similarly desperate for victory at Cardiff City Stadium.

“I don’t think either team is going into the game looking for a draw,” Coleman said.

“Both teams are capable of scoring goals with good, exciting players. I think it will be open and a great game.

“A draw doesn’t do either of us any good so you would imagine something will have to give.

“This was always going to be a tight group, the teams are very similar and four teams are very strong.

” I feel it will go right to the wire.”

Wales have not lost a competitive home game since 2013, when they were beaten by Serbia.

‘We don’t have to be afraid of anyone’ – Coleman

After Austria on Saturday, they then visit Moldova on Tuesday before a double-header in October sees them end the campaign with a trip to Georgia and a home game against the Republic of Ireland.

Coleman believes Wales are capable of winning all four.

“Yes, that’s no disrespect to Austria, Moldova, Georgia and the Republic of Ireland in the remaining games,” he added.

“It’s a statement, but I’ll say it – it could be Brazil, Spain, Germany. I have that much confidence in our players and in our team, especially here in this stadium when it’s full.

“If we get it right then there’s nobody we need to fear. That’s a definite. We don’t have to be afraid of anyone.

“But we’re only looking at one game – we’ve always done that and one game is always winnable, no matter who it is against. No different tomorrow night.”



  • Wales have won two of their previous nine meetings with Austria, drawing two and losing five.
  • Chris Coleman scored on his debut for Wales in a 1-1 draw against Austria in Vienna in 1992.
  • The last time Wales played Austria at home, a friendly at Swansea’s Liberty Stadium in 2013, Coleman’s side won 2-1.


  • Wales have not lost a competitive home game since 2013, when they were beaten 3-0 by Serbia.
  • Wales’ draw in Serbia in June was their fifth in succession – the first time that has happened in their history.


  • Marc Janko is the leading scorer in Austria’s squad with 28 international goals in 63 games.
  • Austria are unbeaten in four games, with their last defeat coming at home against the Republic of Ireland last November.


Austria 2-2 Wales (6 October, 2016)

Wales twice took the lead in Vienna – thanks to Joe Allen’s swerving long-range strike and Kevin Wimmer’s own goal – but they were pegged back by a brace from Marko Arnautovic.

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