Prediction and odds for the game: Wales (7/4) vs Austria (17/10)
We are backing the home win
When: Thursday 24 March 2022, Kick-off 19:45
Where: The Cardiff City Stadium
On Thursday night, Wales host Austria in Cardiff, in one of the the World Cup semi-final play-offs. Both teams will be confident of gaining a first-leg advantage.
Robert Page’s team finished their World Cup qualifying campaign with a seven-game unbeaten run, which saw the Dragons finish second in their group to Belgium. A 1-1 draw with the Red Devils in the final group was certainly a respectable result considering the quality of opposition.
When it comes to World Cup qualifying, Wales have been a difficult team to beat, as they have lost two of their last 20 matches in World cup qualifying.
The Dragons also have a decent recent record in qualifying on home soil, losing just one of their last ten qualifiers on their own patch. The draw against Belgium made Wales four games unbeaten in qualifiers on home soil.
Their recent home qualifiers have been tight, low-scoring affairs, as seven of their last eight qualifiers on home soil have produced under 2.5 goals.
The visitors finished fourth-place in their group in qualifying, but qualified for the play-off courtesy of their performance in the Nations League. In fact, their performances in qualifying were highly inconsistent, as the visitors finished below Denmark, Scotland, and Israel in the Group F standings.
Considering their disappointing end position in the group, it is not highly surprising that Austria’s recent record in qualifying is inconsistent. They won their last two qualifiers against Israel and Moldova, but it wasn’t enough to have a chance of sealing the one automatic qualification spot at this year’s World Cup.
The visitors don’t have struggled for any form of consistency in qualifying of late, as they have won just six of their 14 matches in qualifying for the World Cup.
Austria’s recent inconsistency in general in World Cup qualifying also applies to their record on their travels, as they have won just three of their last nine qualifiers away from home.
Despite that inconsistency on their travels, Austria have still managed to score at least two goals in four of their last five World Cup qualifiers on the road.
This could well be a close encounter. However, we feel that the home win offers great value, as Wales are unbeaten in 16 home matches in all competitions. Austria are just so unpredictable that we believe that the Dragons can make home advantage count in this clash. The other bet we recommend is for under 2.5 goals to be scored, as Wales’s recent home qualifiers have been tight affairs and they are well organised in defence.
Our Tips: We are backing the home win at odds of 7/4 and/or under 2.5 goals scored at odds of 3/5. (All odds are taken from Bet365).[geosnippet id=3620]
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Who will claim a vital semi-final victory in Cardiff?