After being booed off in Dublin on Friday, Giovanni Trapattoni remained defiant that his side must remain positive until qualification is mathematically impossible.
Qualification would require a win in Vienna tonight and another three points away to group leaders Germany. Yesterday however, Trapatonni appeared a forlorn figure as he accepted his time at the Irish helm may be over. Speaking ahead of the game in Austria, Trapattoni defended his time at the reins and claimed that he had advanced the Green Army. “We have changed the team, we have improved the ranking, we have moved players and discovered many others,” he said. One of these players the 74-year-old Italian spoke of is Anthony Pilkington. Pilkington made his debut on Friday as a substitute and will be in the starting line-up against Austria tonight.
Ireland come into this game level on points with Austria but remain below them in fourth place in Group C with a substantially worse goal difference. Qualification hangs by the thinnest of threads and anything but a win will signal the end for Ireland.
26 March 2013: Ireland 2-2 Austria
6 September 1995: Austria 3-1 Ireland
11 June 1995: Ireland 1-3 Austria
Ireland have not beaten Austria since 1963 when they won 3-2 at the European Championships
Since then Austria have put 21 goals past the Irish defence in 7 games, having only conceded 7 times.
Rep of Ireland win – 4.2
Austria win – 1.83
Draw – 3.5
TV: Live on RTE 2 at 7.45pm