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Ralf Rangnick plays open cards

Ralf Rangnick plays open cards

The team roster is usually a well-kept secret in the run-up to a football match. But Ralf Rangnick made an exception on Wednesday, as the ÖFB chief revealed the starting line-up for Thursday’s friendly match between the national team (8:30pm/Servus-TV) in Linz against Moldova. This must be seen as a sign of strength, which is visibly displayed to the outside world.

Of course, the important European Championship qualifier on Tuesday in Sweden cannot be emulated in this match. “The two games cannot be compared,” says Rangnick, but the test against the Moldovans, who are said to be very defensive, should serve as proof. Because for the game in Solna (near Stockholm), not all seats were taken. “It’s about recommending yourself,” Rangnick explained.

Desire to play

The whole team has made a great impression in the previous training sessions. “They are all fit and comfortable,” noted the team leader. June’s international matches, which were nonetheless successful, came at the end of a grueling season. But after the victory over the Swedes, there was great anticipation for the holiday. Now professionals are almost obsessed with work, they want and need games.

Konrad Leimer will be the captain against Moldova and is setting an example. “We have to take the match as seriously as the qualifying match,” said the new Bayern player, who is in intense competition at the German club World Cup. “In the end, it’s all about asserting yourself, and that will happen sooner or later,” says the 26-year-old, who is confident he will soon become a regular at Bayern. In the national team, Leimer is allowed to play in midfield, where he feels “maximum comfort”. He was last used as a right-back for the German record champions.

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For the first time to snig

The national team lives the competition more fully thanks to a much wider range of performances. David Shennig, who makes his debut on Thursday, can establish himself on the left side of defence. Florian Grealich and Florian Caenz, as well as Michael Gregoric and Karim Onisio are also involved in the attack.

Marko Arnautovic will entertain the Linz crowd after the break (12,000 tickets out of 16,500 sold as of Wednesday), Christoph Baumgartner is also expected to feature in the second half, while David Alaba and Marcel Sabitzer, who have had enough match training, will also feature in the half. the second. Maybe you are all set for Sweden match. This also makes Rangnick a bit more dependent on how the game went in the first half.

The team boss regrets that only six substitutions are allowed according to UEFA regulations. “I don’t really understand it,” said Rangnick, who provides versatility at the team’s headquarters in Windischgarsten. “I would like to make 10 changes.” On Wednesday there was a team barbecue. And the German predicted a “canvas evening.”