EURO 2024 Round of 16 | Austria vs Turkey

Austria vs Turkey (Leipzig), 21:00

When Austria were paired against France, the Netherlands, and Poland, they knew qualification wouldn't be easy. Finishing top of their group with six points was an excellent achievement, and their celebrations after the final whistle against the Dutch said it all. They lost their first game by one goal to France, but despite that, many could see the fighting spirit in the team. After their poor luck in the first game, Austria were able to bounce back and managed to win their next two games to top the group featuring such strong sides.

In contrast to their disappointment in 2020, where they lost all three of their group stage matches, Turkey has performed much better this time. With two wins and one loss, Turkey ended up with the same number of points as Group F leaders Portugal but only missed out on the top spot due to goal difference. Turkey’s resurgence in the tournament shows how far they have come since the last edition, and they are now on track for a strong finish.




Performance in Group Stage

Austria kicked off their tournament against France, which was widely considered one of the best, if not the best, teams in the tournament. Almost everyone was backing France for the win in this first fixture and while Les Blues won, Austria delivered an impressive performance. Austria had many chances in the game against France but failed to capitalise.

However, they continued playing attacking football in the next game, beating Poland and knocking them out of the tournament in the process. Austria won their final match 3-2 against a strong Netherlands side, propelling them towards the top of the table.

Turkey started the tournament very well unlike their counterparts, winning their first match 3-1 against Georgia. Their next game was against Portugal, the strongest side from the Euro qualifiers, and they were majorly underwhelming, losing 3-0 in the process. Their last match was one of the most dramatic games in the tournament, as they had to face the Czech Republic.

The Czechians were down a man after Antonín Barák picked up a red card in the 20th minute, but despite this advantage for Turkey, they only managed to secure a win thanks to a Cenk Rosun goal in stoppage time. Despite the ups and downs, Turkey managed to qualify for the next round and now faces their most formidable challenge against Austria.

Match Analysis

Ralf Ragnick turned down a role at Manchester United before taking on the coaching role for the Austrian national team. His decision seems to have paid off, as he has turned Austria into a strong side capable of achieving something special. Players seem to have adapted well to Ragnick’s style of play, with clear progress being made on the pitch. Pundits and players are full of praise for this new approach, describing it as a more active style of play rather than passive on the pitch.

Austria has adopted a dynamic system that focuses on quick transitions, aggressive pressing, and intelligent positioning. We saw evidence of this system working very well against the Netherlands, where Austria managed to win 3-2. Ragnick has shown that he can get the best out of his players and play to their strengths to execute a game plan that can get them a win against the mightiest of opponents.

Turkey’s style of play has also received much positive acclaim despite some shaky moments from the team in this tournament. Vincenzo Montella has added a flair to this team where they use a pressing game to disrupt play and then capitalise on any turnovers. Turkish fans seem to be very happy with the way their team is performing and have embraced their team’s entertaining football with a passion visible through their support in Germany.

Players to Watch

Below, we have highlighted one player from each team who has excelled for their country at this year's tournament. This game will consist of several players capable of making a significant impact, but for either team to progress deep in this tournament, one feels that these two players below will have to perform exceptionally well.

- Michael Gregoritsch: The SC Freiburg forward has significantly impacted Austria's Euro 2024 campaign. Although he hasn't scored, his contributions in creating scoring opportunities and maintaining offensive pressure have been vital.

- Marcel Sabitzer: The Borussia Dortmund midfielder has been a standout player for Austria in Euro 2024. His contributions have been pivotal, especially in the absence of star player David Alaba. Sabitzer has been instrumental in midfield, providing leadership and creativity. He played in all three group-stage matches.

Match Prediction

Austria goes into this Round of 16 tie as the clear favourites with a strong record and impactful players. Despite Turkey’s direct qualification from a second-place finish, Austria holds a better record in terms of statistics and are the team most likely of the two to go deep into this tournament.