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January 22, 2023

Austria-Denmark match postponed

A match did not start on time: the match in Vienna was postponed due to a power failure. No word yet on when, or if, they will begin.

Six minutes spent in Split, where Majer has just fired past a Modric corner.

The other matches that will start at 7:45 p.m. are Iceland v Albania (League B), Belarus v Azerbaijan and Slovakia v Kazakhstan (both from League C), and Andorra v Moldova (Group D) …

Peep! We are about to set off to Split, Vienna and beyond.

A Split fan tonight sent me this picture. Fans are still queuing to enter off the pitch, with kick-off less than 15 minutes away.

Here’s Ben Fisher on Wales’ journey from the wilderness to the World Cup:

Team News: Austria – Denmark

Austria (4-1-4-1): Pentz; Trimmel, Posch, Alaba (c), Friedl; Selwald; Laimer, Schlager, Ljubicic, Baumgartner; Kalajdzic.

Substitutes: Lindner (GK), Fraisl (GK), Trauner, Danso, Arnautovic, Sabitzer, Weimann, Gregoritsch, Wöber, Onisiwo, Lainer, Lázaro.

Denmark (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel (c); Andersen, Nelson, Vestergaard, Maehle; Hojbjerg, Jensen; Kristensen, Eriksen, Braithwaite; Poulsen.

Subs: Iversen (GK), Vindahl-Jensen (GK), Delaney, Skov Olsen, Boilesen, Damsgaard, Billing, Stryger, Wass, Skov, Cornelius.

Not quite sure how Didier Deschamps will set up tonight – looks like a potential 3-5-2 with Digne and Diaby as wingers but UEFA have it as a 4-2-3-1 more conventional, with Rabiot pushing forward.

For the hosts, Luka Modric is back in the starting lineup and earns his 150th cap for his country tonight. Osasuna striker Ante Budimir and Rangers full-back Borna Barisic are also signed by Zlatko Dalic.

Team News: Croatia – France

Croatia (4-3-3): Livakovic; Juranovic, Erlic, Vida, Barisic; Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic; Majer, Budimir, Brekalo.

Replacements: Labrovic (GK), Ivusic (GK), Vrsaljko, Sutalo, Pongracic, Kramaric, Vlasic, Sucic, Pasalic, Jakic, Orsic, Ivanusec.

France (3-5-2): Maignan; Pavard, Saliba, Kimpembe; Diaby, Guendouzi, Tchouaméni, Rabiot, Digne; Nkunku, Ben Yedder.

Replacements: Lloris (GK), Areola (GK), Konaté, Koundé, Griezmann, Mbappé, Coman, Kamara, Clauss, Benzema, Lucas Hernandez, Theo Hernandez.

Preamble

The third edition of the Nations League is full-throttle affair – the final four will be set by September, and four of the six rounds of group matches will be played in the current two-week window. There have already been some eye-catching results, leaving big teams a matter of days to turn the tide and build some kind of momentum ahead of November’s World Cup in Qatar (yes, it’s really happening).

France, holders of the Nations League, is one of these teams. The home defeat to World Cup teammates Denmark has put them in a tough spot ahead of tonight’s game in Split. The same goes for their hosts, Croatia, who were beaten 3-0 by Ralf Rangnick’s Austria. It will be a long way back for whoever loses that replay of the last men’s World Cup final in 2018, which honestly feels like around 10 years ago, doesn’t it?

Meanwhile, Austria and Denmark will reunite in Vienna in a battle for control of Group A1 *check notes*. Kasper Hjulmand’s side look set to replace Croatia as the team every pundit chooses to ‘run away’ to the World Cup. Austria won’t go to Qatar, but you could say his first result under Rangnick was more impressive than anything he did at Manchester United.

But wait – there’s more! In League B, Iceland welcomes Albania… OK, there may not be any more. It should still be fun. Kick off for tonight’s games: 7.45pm (BST).


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