Ray Houghton feels the pressure is on Austria as Ireland visit Vienna

Ex-Ireland midfielder looks ahead to the World Cup qualifier

BY Raf Diallo 16:02 Friday 11 November 2016, 16:02 11 Nov 2016

Ray Houghton ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Ex-Boys in Green midfielder Ray Houghton believes a draw in Vienna would be a very good result for Ireland in Saturday's 2018 World Cup qualifier.

The Boys in Green would move to 10 points from a possible 12 in the qualifying group with a win, although a draw would leave Ireland on a solid eight in the race to go to Russia in just under two years. 

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast's Alan Quinlan on Friday morning, Houghton feels a return of eight points from a possible - with three away fixtures out of the way - would be a solid return.

"I think if we get a point from this game, we'll be happy enough with the start that they've had. We've already picked up seven points from the first three games so a draw away from home from the four matches where we'll have played three away from home, I think that would be a good return," he said.

"Because our record in Austria is pretty poor. We've played there seven times and lost six and got one draw. They are a very good side at home in the last 10 international competitive games they've played at home. They've won eight and drawn two so that's the size of the task for the Irish team." 

And Houghton believes the balance of the group so far, with Austria three points behind, puts the pressure on the central Europeans.

"It's a must-win game for them to be honest. I think there's enormous pressure on Austria going into this game. So we'll see if they can handle the pressure of their fans being on top of them," he said.

In terms of the Austrian player to look out for, Houghton highlighted striker Marc Janko, who has 28 goals in 59 internationals to his name, while citing the two main stars David Alaba and Marko Arnautovic who was "electric" against Wales but will play directly against Seamus Coleman on the flanks.

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