Tactical Analysis: Austrians must utilise width versus dogged Hungary

Ahead of Austria's opening Group F game with Hungary in Bordeaux, we analyse the key areas for Das Team

Tactical Analysis: Austrians must utilise width versus dogged Hungary
Austria will look to Arnautovic and Alaba for an opening win (Photo: Tobias Schwarz / Getty Images)

Deep in the Médoc valley in France, Austria will kick off their Euro 2016 campaign versus Hungary in Bordeaux on Tuesday.

In a region perhaps best known for its' wine, it is coach Marcel Koller who is creating an alpine vintage of his own.

Das Team return to major tournament competition for the first time since joint-hosting the European Championships in 2008, with very different goals in mind.

Eight years ago, few expected little of the Austrians on their home turf and the pessimism was not unfounded. Just a +1 goal difference avoided the Group B wooden spoon, to Poland

Of food for thought will be Hungary competing in their first qualifying competion for 30 years. With both emerging from the international wilderness then, what can we expect and what areas will Koller's men be focusing on?

Koller's men aim for three points

With Group F one of the more evenly matched pools, Austria's aim must the full quota come 7pm on Tuesday evening. With Iceland and Portugal to play also, a rapid start is a must.

Austria have the far superior outfit on paper, but after  a 0-2 final warm-up defeat to Netherlands before the tournament, Marcel Koller will have concerns.

The chief Hungarian threat will stem from captain Balázs Szsudzsák and striker Ádám Szalai. Despite this however, Hungary coach Bernd Storck is likely to employ a cautious approach.

Das Team need to harness wide areas

The Austrian midfield will be comparitively heavyweight to Hungary's. It is in this area Das Team must pack the midfield and overwhelm Ádáms Pintér and Nagy aswell as Laszlo Kleinheisler.

The duo of Julian Baumgartlinger and David Alaba should adequately see to that, with Zlatko Junuzovic pushing on.

Baumgartlinger will steer the Austrian midfield (photo:getty)
Baumgartlinger will steer the Austrian midfield (photo:getty)

Alaba will primarily operate from a central defensive position but his penchant to drift out the left will aid Marko Arnautovic in the wide areas where Austria can win the game. 

With Christian Fuchs providing back-up from an almost wing-back perch, Austria need to utilise width to break down a likely stubborn unit. That begins by getting in behind the in-experienced Attila Fiola on the right of Hungary's defence.

Offside trap must be compact

With both sides competing in not just their opening game, but first tournament one in a number of years, the approach to the game may be a cagey one.

Austria are likely to carry the bulk of the threat but need to guard against the aformentioned Szalai and Szsudzsák. With the former, the 28 year-old Hannover '96 man is capable of goals, partnered by his captain - on the right of a likely front three. Dániel Böde's four international goals could also contribute, including a brace during qualification.    

Hungary's issue with scoring might complicate matters for the contenders for group whipping boys. In just two games during qualifying did Storck's side score more than a single goal before winning their playoff versus Norway.

Of equal concern for Austria is their organisation of late. With particular reference to their offside line. The entire constitution of which, played Vincent Janssen onside for Oranje's opening goal nine days ago and have not kept a clean sheet in all of their friendlies since October. 

Austria and Hungary will - in all likelihood - not light up a European Championships that thus far, have failed to capture the imagination. Marcel Koller will not care for a wildly open game, just the three points. Hungary alas, may not to be willing to play Euro ball.