Austria vs Italy: International Friendly Preview and Potential Line-ups

Ernst Happel Stadion in Vienna is the venue as Austria and Qatar go head-to-head in Sunday’s exciting international game. With neither nation making its way to Qatar, this showdown may serve to bolster the spirits in both camps.

Despite falling behind early on their latest visit to Albania a few days ago, Italy picked themselves up to claim a 3-1 victory in Tirana. Giovanni Di Lorenzo initiated the comeback midway through the first half before Vincenzo Grifo’s double on either side of halftime completed an eye-catching turnaround

Roberto Mancini’s men are on an upward trajectory. After another failed attempt to qualify for the World Cup finals for the second time in a row, the Italians pulled off a sensational comeback in the 2022/23 UEFA Nations League Group A3 to pip England, Germany, and Hungary to the top place in the group. 

In the meantime, Austria edged out Iberian minnows Andorra 1-0 earlier in November, courtesy of Marko Arnautovic’s late winner, ending an abysmal run of three consecutive defeats in the Nations League. Austria’s disappointing campaign in the newest UEFA competition resulted in relegation to League B.

A horrific Nations League season added insult to injury following an underwhelming World Cup playoffs exit at the hands of Wales in the semifinals. Now led by former interim Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick, the Austrians embark on a redemption mission against the reigning European champions.

Match Preview


It’s been a thoroughly disappointing calendar year for Austria. They have mustered only two victories from nine international outings in 2022 (D2, L5). Interestingly, both those wins came on foreign soil ‘to nil,’ including a 3-0 demolition of beaten 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia. 

However, since beating minnows Moldova 4-1 in a World Cup qualifier in November 2021, the Austrians have gone winless in four consecutive home matches (D2, L2), alternating between draws and losses on each occasion. 

Worryingly for Rangnick, his men have conceded 2+ goals in three of their four home games in 2022. Topically, they have shipped precisely two goals in both previous home meetings with Italy (D1, L1), though it’s worth noting their most recent H2H on Austrian soil dates back to 2008. 


Italy have hit a purple patch since being thrashed 5-2 in Germany in mid-June, racking up a three-match winning streak and taking down England in the process. Despite accusations of playing an uneventful football under Mancini, Gli Azzurri have netted 2+ goals on four of their last five international travels.

However, after seeing his team concede at least twice in three of those five away matches, Mancini may require a more stubborn defensive approach for his men. Adding to this sentiment, Italy have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their three international dues with Argentina from 1998 onwards.

The Italians needed extra-time to oust Austria in the Euro 2020 last-16 in summer 2021. Yet of the three forwards that started that game, none will take the field on Sunday, with Mancini now relying on Grifo and Nicolo Zaniolo to carry the scoring burden.

Austria vs Italy Potential Line-ups

Austria (3-4-2-1): Heinz Lindner; Stefan Posch, Kevin Danso, David Alaba; Philipp Mwene, Florian Grillitsch,Xaver Schlager, Marcel Sabitzer; Christoph Baumgartner, Michael Gregoritsch; Marko Arnautovic. 

Italy (3-4-3): Gianluigi Donnarumma; Giorgio Scalvini, Leonardo Bonucci, Francesco Acerbi; Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Marco Verratti, Nicolo Barella, Federico Dimarco; Matteo Politano, Nicolo Zaniolo, Vincenzo Grifo.