Marko Arnautovic is expected to start Austria’s final group game against Ukraine on Monday. He missed his country’s last match due to a one-match suspension following his verbal attack on an opponent in their 3-1 opening win over North Macedonia.
Arnautovic racially abused Leeds defender Ezgjan Alioski in Austria’s 3-1 win over North Macedonia. He also scored an 89th minute goal in the same game and will be hoping he can get on the scoresheet against Ukraine which is a must win game for both sides.
“We decided that Marko will play from the start and to announce it today,” Foda told a news conference on Sunday. “That means our opponents know that now and can prepare for it but we are happy that he can play again.
“But we are not dependent only on Marko. He has his ability and quality, but many players have to take on responsibility tomorrow.”
Currently, both Austria and Ukraine are on 3 points each with only goal difference separating the sides. Netherlands are the table toppers with 6 points and are expected to win their final game against North Macedonia. In Ukraine’s last match, Netherlands beat them 2-0 and Arnautovic’s loss affected them.
“Against the Dutch we did well to reach the box but then in the last zone we lacked the final pass, the push. We attacked our opponents too little,” Foda said. “We must improve that.”
Austrian captain and Bayern Munich legend David Alaba was quick to emphasise on the importance of their final group game against Ukraine as the winner of the match gains automatic qualification as the 2nd placed team.
“Not only for me but for every single player in the team this game is of extreme importance,” Austria’s captain David Alaba said. “It is like a final. We want to decide it in our favour and write history.
“We want to take this next step, reach our goal. The tension in the team is rising and every one of us is fired up for tomorrow.”