Austria - Netherlands preview: Marcel Koller's men return home for final warm-up

Match preview of Saturday evening's Euro 2016 warm-up game between Austria and the Netherlands at the Ernst-Happel Stadion, Vienna

Austria - Netherlands preview: Marcel Koller's men return home for final warm-up
Picture source: Christof Stache - Getty Images

Austria will play their final Euro 2016 warm-up game on Saturday as they welcome Netherlands to their home stadium in Vienna.

Following a 2-1 defeat of Malta on Tuesday evening in the alpine town of Wöthersee, Das Team return to the the more familiar surroundings of the capital city and the Ernst-Happel Stadion.

Marcel Koller's men will face a Netherlands side that despite not being involved in the European Championships, Oranje should provide the sterner test that the Austrians need just 10 days away from their opening Group F encounter with Hungary in Bordeaux.

Vienna set for hopeful send-off

Austrians everywhere will descend on the famous stadium in Vienna on Saturday evening - men and women alike; young and old; Gondoliers will leave their boats on the Danube; all will come together on Saturday, as 50,000 fans are set to unite to give their heroes a fitting send-off to the Euros, with expectations pragmatic, but hopeful.

Austria have failed to emerge from a group stage in European Championship history. This latest side however, could not only buck that trend, but with a bit of fortune could go far in France this summer. Marcel Koller will take a mix of youth and experience to Gallic lands this June, as Austria hope for a long a fruitful pilgrimage, beginning in the Rhone valley.

Oranje step up in calibre from Maltese

Since their grim failure to qualify for Euro 2016, the Dutch side have had a mixed bag of results.

Oranje trained in Vienna on Friday (photo:getty)
Oranje trained in Vienna on Friday (photo:getty)

Danny Blind's men have played five friendlies in total since November, all against Euro-qualifying sides. Despite losing at home to this summer's hosts Les Bleus, Netherlands have beaten Wales, England and Poland all away from home. After a comfortable win for over Malta, the Dutch will provide an essential tuning-up as with the Hungarians on the horizon.

Koller may alter starting XI

Koller's starting XI in midweek was a curious one. The 55-year-old tinkered with his system, as Markus Suttner came in for captain Christian Fuchs at left-back and Alessandro Schöpf replaced talisman David Alaba in midfield.

The two are nigh-on certainties for a starting berth, but after Schöpf found the net during that game, might Koller stick with the 22 year-old Schalke 04 midfielder, as one of many potential aces up the Austrian sleeve this tournament?

Following a qualifying campaign as an unbeaten force, a match-up versus a Netherlands side - albeit an out-of-sorts one - will provide a greater indication of how Marcel Koller's men are shaping up for this summer's exploits.