The friendly against Austria in Klagenfurt on Saturday will be the last test for Germany before the World Cup in Russia. With two weeks to go until the tournament, it is Joachim Löw’s last chance to see the players in action before he must choose his final squad of 23. This will be the 40th contest between the two sides and DFB.de has all the facts about this historic derby.
COMEBACK FOR THE GOALKEEPING KING? Long since injured and now back on the road to old form: World Champion Manuel Neuer could start in goal against Austria. This could be the long-awaited comeback for the 32-year-old, who hasn’t played a competitive game since he suffered a broken foot in September 2017.
DEBUT FOR PIETERSEN? The only debutant in the preliminary German World Cup squad is Nils Petersen. The SC Freiburg centre forward holds the record for the most goals scored by a substitute (20). Last season, he was the most deadly German attacker in the Bundesliga with 15 goals. In 2016, Petersen was selected for the German Olympic team and netted six goals on the way to the silver medal. Goalkeepers Bernd Leno (6) and Kevin Trapp (3) as well as defenders Marvin Plattenhardt (6), Jonathan Tah (3) and Niklas Süle (9) all had less than ten caps for their country.
NINE WORLD CHAMPIONS IN THE PRELIMINARY SQUAD: Neuer, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Toni Kroos, Thomas Müller and Mesut Özil all started the final in 2014. Sami Khedira, Matthias Ginter and Julian Draxler also featured in the famous World Cup winning squad.
GOOD RECORD: Germany against Austria is a contest with a long history. The two teams faced each other for the first time in June 1908, where Austria triumphed 3-2. 38 duels followed and the bragging-rights have long since swung into the German camp with 25 victories to Austria’s eight. Six games have ended in a stalemate and Germany have scored 89 goals to Austria’s 55. Only Switzerland (42 times) and Hungary (137 times) have faced Austria move than Germany.
WINNING STREAK: The last ten internationals have had a goal ratio of 31:8 in Germany’s favour. The last German defeat came ten games and almost 32 years ago. On 29th October 1986, Germany suffered a 4-1 loss under manager Franz Beckenbauer in Vienna, where only Rudi Völler managed to score the away side.
UNTIL NEXT TIME: The two sides met 16 times in competitive tournaments, including four World Cup encounters. Germany lost only twice (13 wins and one draw): 5-1 at the 1912 Olympics and 3-2 at the World Cup in Argentina in 1978, dubbed "the Disgrace of Cordoba".
CELEBRATIONS ON THE CARDS: Should Germany win in Austria, it would be the 200th away win in the nation’s history, not including matches in neutral venues. In previous away outings , there have been 199 victories, 76 draws and 93 losses.
FOUR GAMES WITHOUT A WIN: Germany have not won a single one of their last four matches (three draws and a loss). The last time that happened was 14 years ago, when Lothar Matthäus’ Hungary beat them 2-0 in Kaiserslautern followed by a winless group phase at the European Championship in Portugal. The German team have also gone goalless in two of the last four matches (three goals in total). Whereas, they scored in every one of their previous 13 games (41 goals in total).
GERMAN COACH IN AUSTRIA: In November 2017, Franco Foda Marcel Koller took over as interim manager of Austria. Koller missed out on World Cup qualification after his team finished fourth in group D with Wales, Serbia, Ireland, Moldova and Georgia. In January 2018, Foda was officially named head coach on a permanent basis. The former Germany player was previously the coach at SK Sturm Graz, with whom he won the Austrian Bundesliga and the domestic cup. In his first four games as Austria coach, he has seen four victories over Uruguay (2-1), Slovenia (3-0, Luxembourg (4-0) and against World Cup hosts Russia (1-0). Such a feat for the Austrian team was last achieved by the managerial duo of Georg Schmidt and Felix Latzke in 1982. They came onto the scene with five victories on the trot.
CLEAR AS DAY: Austria has long boasted the most resounding victory of all time in this duel. On 24th May 1931, they pocketed a 6-0 win in Berlin. Germany’s own most historic win over Austria was their 6-1 World Cup semi-final triumph in 1954, which went down in footballing history as “The Miracle of Bern”.