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Discussion Starter #1
Well, only 4 days to go to our opening game.

Since the tactics crash course from Hickersberger, he can chose between the old 4-4-2, the 3-5-2 everyone loves since the Germany-game and the 4-5-1, maybe the most attacking line-up because of the two wingers.

Noone except Hicke knows yet about who'll start in goal, not even Macho and Manninger.

Defense will either be Prödl-Stranzl-Pogatetz or Garics-Stranzl-Pogatetz/Prödl-Gercaliu/Pogatetz. Hopefully no bad surprises like Standfest as right defender or Fuchs as left defender.

Up front either Linz alone or together with Kienast/Hoffer (please Hoffer). Unless Linz has disciplinary issues like coming too late for a team talk.

I think we will play with a lone striker against Croatia, but instead of two attacking wingers in Ümit and Harnik, Hickersberger goes conservative and opts for Fuchs and (yawn) Standfest.
My wild guess:
Code:
          Manninger

Garics  Prödl  Stranzl  Pogatetz

Standfest Aufhauser Säumel Fuchs

           Ivanschitz

             Linz
Would be the perfect line-up to give Vastic 20-30 minutes behind Linz (and Ivanschitz switches to the left for Fuchs, where the captain is pretty much useless)

What I would like to see:
Code:
            Macho

    Prödl  Stranzl  Pogatetz
Garics                     Ümit
        Säumel  Fuchs 

            Leitgeb       
 
        Harnik   Linz
Hoffer as super-sub up front.
 

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I cant picture Hickersberger using the three-man defence when it comes down to the real buisniss vs Croatia, Poland and Germany as it has seemed all to risky, even during the first half against Malta. I expect to see a back four with Gercaliu on the left side and Stranzl and Pogatetz in central defence. I would prefer Garics on the right side myself, but my gut feeling tells me that Hicke will opt for Standfest against Croatia. As the croatian central defence (Simunic and Kovac) are rather paceless bastards I can almost assure you that Hoffer will feature. Alongside Linz. Aufhauser and Ivanschitz are certain in midfield and although I would have prefered to see Korkmaz on the left I`m starting to believe that Hickersberger will play it safe with Fuchs and Säumel making up the midfield quartet. As for goalie? No idea. Not that much of a difference between Manninger and Macho anyway in my humble opinion.
 

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We'll lose 1-2 after a good game.

Macho - Garics, Prödl, Pogatetz, Gercaliu - Harnik, Aufhauser, Stranzl, Korkmaz - Ivanschitz - Linz.

Ok, I admit, my left side is not the safest one. :D
 

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I'm pretty sure we will lose with a margin of 3 goals or more, regardless what the line-up will look like. Probably Hicke should pick Özcan to have a scape-goat right away...

I fear that we will see Fuchs start on the wing as well as Harnik, with Säumel, Aufhauser and Ivanschitz in the center, despite none of them being able to impress lately. Linz as the lone striker who won't get many chances to touch the ball. I guess in defense Hicke will please his buddy Krankl by selecting Katzer next to Stranzl, Pogatetz and Prödl or Garics. Hoffer, Vastic and Kienast coming on as subs far to late to change anything. After the game Hicke and Stickler will be pleased as usual, despite the debacle...
 

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I`ll predict a draw. Either 1-1 or 2-2. What Austria lacks in class they will compensate by running through the wall and although I`m a huge fan of the way Bilic has managed to combine the ususal Balkan brilliance with both cynism and effectiveness in this croatian team they have looked far from good in their latest practice-matches up to the Euro (Holland 0-3, Moldova 1-0, Hungary 1-1).
 

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I know, outspoken pessimism is a good way to start such tournaments, but I think there's no reason for that. Even with Hickersberger at the helm, the team will shock some foreign "experts" who tried to ridicule it constantly.

Austria can defeat Croatia, but our loser mentality will provide Croatia with a narrow win.
 

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Even with Hickersberger at the helm, the team will shock some foreign "experts" who tried to ridicule it constantly.
Hopefully they`ll prove a point to all those austrians who has done their best to ridicule their own team as well. When I first heard about the "Austria should whithdraw their team"-campaign I thought it was a scam, but disgracefully enough it turned out to be for real. Most of those who signed the petition probably just did it for fun but regardless of that I find that kind of behaviour towards your own nationalteam a shame. Didnt these people understand what a terrific boost this Euro is for Austrian football? Both for the nationalteam and the austrian football in general? No matter if your team is shit you`ll stick to it and support it -and you most certainly dont stab it in the back. I would love Hicke & Co to use this forthcoming weeks to tell them "in your face".
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Yeah, like I wrote in the Euro 2008-forum, I could easily see us draw with them. Their defense looked horrible in test games and Nico Kovac (who still plays a decisive role in their starting lineup) looked horrible for a whole season.

Then again, you can't allow yourself to make any mistakes against calibres like Luka Modric and Mladen Petric, and we tend to do mistakes... So I wouldn't be surprised about a high loss either, but this one will come in the later minutes, I feel. For most of the time, we'll keep it open or at least "only" 0-2. Then we can scape-goat the excessive training that tired our heroes.

Katzer would be an outrage, he played what, 10 minutes in test games? Left back (if we do play with 4 defenders) will be either Pogatetz or Gercaliu (with Prödl on the bench). Both options are ok, but I prefer the first one.

No matter if your team is shit you`ll stick to it and support it -and you most certainly dont stab it in the back.
Well, not in Austria. ;)
Honestly, I don't really think of it as "my team". It's fun and interesting to follow but I don't feel nearly as strongly about the Austrian NT than I do about the clubs I like. I think that goes for many Austrians. Make no mistake, we'll have the same patriotism euphoria as the Germans had in 2006 though, if our team has success. Flags on cars everyhwere already, although around here it's 50:50 between Austrian and Turkish flags. ;)
 

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For 90 minutes, against germany, most Austrians will unite. Then we'll go on lamenting. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Or cheering about Wien'08 for at least 30 years and people like Ivanschitz, Aufhauser and Linz will go on to become coaches and share their expertise.
 

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Or cheering about Wien'08 for at least 30 years and people like Ivanschitz, Aufhauser and Linz will go on to become coaches and share their expertise.

...now that's an outlook... :doh:
 

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For 90 minutes, against germany, most Austrians will unite. Then we'll go on lamenting. ;)
well said. :D

the real "sommermärchen" would be to send se germans home after the group-phase.

anybody watched "das match" yesterday?
great entertainment against the alphornbläser.
schneckerl was brilliant.
he'd be worth 20 millions today...
 

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my bet is on manninger aswell.

congrats on the ticket spielführer.
against germany the whole country will go crazy like hardly ever before!
if we win, there won't be many sober people.
but try to buy beer in the supermarket before the game and get hammered outside the fanzones.
although, of what i heard about norway €4,50 is cheap by your standards anyway... :D
as far as i'm concerned i'm not even gonna go downtown for any of the games.
sunday we'll kick it off at a friend's garden with BBQ and beer.
woohoo!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
According to "Österreich" the line-up against Croatia will be:

Manninger; Standfest, Prödl, Pogatetz, Gercaliu; Ivanschitz, Aufhauser, Stranzl, Fuchs; Hoffer and Linz
Well, Österreich (the newspaper) is something to be careful with, but if it's true:

What I like:
  • Hoffer starting against Robert Kovac+co in what should be a rather slow Croatian defense
  • Stranzl in defensive midfield, although Hicke didn't really test him there before
What I don't like:
  • Säumel on the bench instead of Aufhauser. Just because he can score with headers after Ivanschitz-corners doesn't mean we should have to watch him being useless the other 89 minutes in every (!) game.
  • Ivanschitz in a non-central role.
  • Standfest instead of Garics, "Tag der offenen Tür" for Niko Kranjcar? :rollani: Seriously, that right side is crap with Standfest-Ivanschitz (especially compared to next season's Messi-Dani Alves :strong: )
Don't care much for the goalie question, but I hope they don't cross a lot with Manninger in goal.
 

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although, of what i heard about norway €4,50 is cheap by your standards anyway...
Its basicly a give away compared to prices in Norway! :) You would have to pay about €8 (65 kroner) for 0.4 l of rather lousy beer nowadays as there is no Grieskirchner, Schladminger or Gösser Dunkel here I`m afraid. Even SKOL would taste like honey compared to whats produced in most norwegian breweries.
 

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What I like:
  • Stranzl in defensive midfield, although Hicke didn't really test him there before

I don't think Hicke would "risk" that. It's just another reason you would want to throw stones at him, as surely then there would be no use for a second Premier League proved central defender... :rollani:
 

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1-1 or 1-2 as predictions in here??? :howler: :rollani:

Austria 0 -3 Croatia after a very bad game by Croatia. That sounds realistic.
 

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In other words: You rate Croatia that higher than Germany? :eek:
 

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No, we beat you 0-3 with maybe our worst game in the last years if you remember. I think Croatia is a dangerous opponent and apart from the naturally big football nations Croatia is one of the strongest teams. Actually I think currently it is the strongest from them. Especially since Croatia should be a better "team" than Spain and Portugal who always have strong players but weak "teams" in tournaments.

If you want to aim for a point in this tournament, you can only get it against Poland. And even that means you need to play fantastic and Poland just mediocre. I mean I honestly have no intention to talk bad about Austria or Austrian football for that matter but we need to stay realistic and look at results and squad strengthes.
 
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