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Injuries pile pressure on Austrians desperate for first Foda home win

With Northern Ireland still processing the decision by star striker Kyle Lafferty to withdraw from the squad on his own accord, Austria have their own personnel troubles to seek ahead of the Nations League clash tomorrow night.

The Austrians are likely to be without three key players for the match at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna.

Austria skipper Julian Baumgartlinger and fellow midfielder Florian Grillitsch are expected to miss the game through injury alongside star player, Bayern Munich wing back David Alaba who has a hamstring problem.

Coach Franco Foda, appointed last January, is under pressure to record a Nations League victory at home having lost their opener away to Bosnia and Herzegovina and striker Marcel Sabitzer, who has 31 caps, is expecting a hard, physical battle against the men in green.

"I would be happy with an 'ugly victory'," admitted Sabitzer.

"It will be a physical affair, against a team which tackles hard and plays a long ball game."

Sabitzer's team-mate Guido Burgstaller believes the Austrians must show a tough mental attitude to prevail against Michael O'Neill's men.

Burgstaller added: "Northern Ireland will throw everything at us so we must be prepared to give 100%.

"We are under pressure and this is a game we want to win. We must show ourselves as strong mentally as our opponents.

"I don't think it will be a pretty game against Northern Ireland - they will throw everything at us and will fight for 90 minutes," he concluded.

Belfast Telegraph