Austria v Scotland
Tuesday, 29 March, kick-off 7.45pm (UK)
Ernst Happel Stadion, Wien
Scotland return to international action as they travel to Vienna for the second in this March double-header of international fixtures.
After a spirited performance against Poland on Thursday night – a match that held far greater significance than normal, with £10 from every ticket sold going to UNICEF’s humanitarian appeal for Ukraine – Scotland now return to the Ernst Happel Stadion, which was the venue for one of their best nights of 2021.
Scotland extended their unbeaten run on Thursday thanks to a first goal in Scotland colours for Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney and can feel aggrieved not to have made it a seventh win in a row after a questionable penalty for Poland earned them a share of the spoils.
Though Austria will undoubtedly be down after losing their FIFA World Cup Play-off Semi-final to Wales on Thursday evening, the side ranked ten places above Scotland in the FIFA rankings will still provide stern opposition for Steve Clarke’s side.
The sides are familiar opponents, having met on 22 occasions over the years going back to 1931, Austria holding a narrow edge with eight victories to Scotland’s seven.
The most recent clash saw Scotland take the spoils in Vienna last September, when a Lyndon Dykes penalty following a VAR review handed Scotland a well-deserved 1-0 victory – a result that handed the impetus to Scotland in the race for the play-off spot in the qualification group.
Grant Hanley and John McGinn were on the scoresheet in a 2-2 draw at Hampden in the home leg of the qualification campaign last year.
Recent form is on Scotland’s side, having only lost once in the past nine meetings between the two nations, a 2-0 defeat in 2003.
Scotland last played a friendly match in Vienna in 2007, winning 1-0 in a game in which current Scotland number one Craig Gordon came off the bench at half time.
Lyndon Dykes and Scotland captain Andy Robertson could come into contention having joined up with the squad after missing the Poland match due to injury and illness, respectively.
Aaron Hickey will be hoping to add to the cap he earned on Thursday night, the Bologna FC fullback coming off the bench to make his debut for the senior side.
Fellow new call-ups Craig Halkett and Ross Stewart will be hoping to make their debuts in a match that Head Coach Steve Clarke has hinted could see him utilise the depth in his squad.
“This is it… this is me playing for my country!”— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) March 28, 2022
Catch up with the newly-capped Aaron Hickey, as he reflects on his debut, being part of the Scotland camp, life in Italy and more. pic.twitter.com/jgxdJ0IDYv
Scotland Head Coach Steve Clarke: "Looking at the bigger picture, in terms of fairness to the players in the squad more than anything, this is a game where I'll probably rotate a little bit more than I would for the second game in an international break."
"It is somewhere where we have been before. We know we can go there and perform.
"The Austrians obviously had a big disappointment against Wales. Looking at it, how I would be as a player or manager or coach, I would be looking at the next game to try to get the previous game out of the system. So I expect a really competitive game.
"They will want to win to get back on an even keel. Obviously, it is a game where the manager has announced it will be his last game. So they will want to get on the pitch and do the best for their country, same as our boys."
How to follow the match
The match will be shown live on Sky Sports Football beginning at 7.40pm.
You can also receive live updates via the official @ScotlandNT Twitter account.