It’s difficult to know exactly what to make of Austria ahead of Euro 2016.
As a side that had never previously qualified for a European Championships in their history (their one and only appearance prior to this was as hosts) they booked a place in France in emphatic fashion.
Unbeaten in their 10 Group G games and emerging as winners ahead of fellow Euros participants Russia and Sweden, beating the latter 4-1 away in their most eye-catching result, Das Team arrived at the tournament as many people’s dark horses.
Then, in preparation for their summer outing, they lost to the Netherlands and Turkey while recording 2-1 wins over Albania and lowly Malta in their four warm-up games.
They open their campaign at the competition against neighbours Hungary, who reached the finals after finishing third in Northern Ireland’s Group F, then defeating Norway in the play offs.
Bernd Storck’s side played three preparation matches of their own before heading to France, drawing with both Croatia and the Ivory Coast, before losing 2-0 to Germany.
Despite owning a better head-to-head record against their neighbours, having won 66 of the 137 meetings, Ladbrokes make the Hungarians the outsiders.
We give Austria a 3/4 chance of winning, with Hungary at 9/2 and the draw 13/5. However, rather than place any money on which team prevails, it would be a better plan to bank on a growing trend of one-goal wins continuing at the tournament.
Up to, and including, Germany’s 2-0 win over Ukraine, five of the eight wins at Euro 2016 had been by one goal and Austria and Hungary have enough form to add to it.
Conversely, all six of Hungary’s non-draw results ended with one-goal margins, four of them in positive fashion.
We go 11/2 that Gabor Kiraly’s troops secure victory by the slimmest of margins, making a staking plan to cover both eventualities a smart move.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.