Koller: Bale key for Wales

Austria manager Marcel Koller has identified Gareth Bale as the man his side must stop if they want to beat Wales.

Last Updated: 05/02/13 at 22:16 Post Comment

Marcel Koller: Wary of Bale influence

Marcel Koller: Wary of Bale influence

Austria manager Marcel Koller has identified Gareth Bale as the man his side must stop if they want to secure a friendly victory over Wales on Wednesday night.

The in-form Tottenham winger will be Wales' most potent threat to the Austrian defence at the Liberty Stadium, as the home side look to improve on a run of just one win in seven games.

Austria, meanwhile, are hoping to bounce back from a 3-0 defeat against the Ivory Coast in November, and gain some valuable momentum ahead of the resumption of World Cup qualifying next month, with Koller's team lying fourth in Group C.

If the visitors are to emerge victorious, their Swiss manager knows how important it will be to keep Bale quiet.

He said: "Bale is the key player for Wales, especially in terms of his offensive play. We have to work together to try and stop him, rather than having one player man-marking him.

"He is extremely fast, he has very good technique. I watched him play against Germany five years ago and he was outstanding.

"I first noticed him when I was a club manager (with Bochum) but I think he is now too expensive for most clubs."

Koller, who featured as a substitute for Switzerland when they faced England in the opening game of Euro 96, has won four of his eight games since taking charge of Austria, but has fitness concerns to contend with.

Bayern Munich's David Alaba is a doubt with a muscle injury, while captain Christian Fuchs is struggling to shake off a cold.

Koller must also decide whether to hand Austria Vienna striker Philipp Hosiner a first international start. The 23-year-old has scored 21 goals in 20 league appearances for his club so far this season.

Austria are using the meeting with Wales as preparation for their upcoming qualifiers against the Republic of Ireland, and Koller believes it will be a beneficial experience.

He said: "It's good we can experience the weather and conditions as we have today and to play against a British team is always good, even if you cannot compare the style of play and it is hard to find two teams who play exactly the same.

"Ireland are higher than Wales in the FIFA rankings, so we expect them to be stronger but I don't think there will be much difference."

end


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

he name of the article is apt as all my wildest dreams will come through if it turns out to be true

parsy12
The Vote Pedro Gossip

Y

ouri Tielemans is everything Jack Wilshere wants to be!

ross1119
F365's Top Ten Breakthrough Stars Of 2015/16

S

o is Jordan Ibe overqualified for this list or what? To be honest I was expecting to see his name, I thought he'd fit in perfectly. Maybe his name is too familiar? Because otherwise this list should be made for him. You could actually just insert his name & stats into the middle paragraph about Brandt and it would describe Ibe.

redkev
F365's Top Ten Breakthrough Stars Of 2015/16

Footer 365

Jose Mourinho: Arsenal spending way to title contention

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says Arsene Wenger is buying his way into Premier League title contention.

Jose Mourinho says Eden Hazard was better than Cristiano Ronaldo last season

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho believes Eden Hazard performed better than Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo last season.

West Brom 'agree £8m fee for Hull City's James Chester'

West Brom have agreed a fee of £8m for Hull City defender James Chester, according to Sky sources.

Mail Box

The Calculator Is On Wenger's Side...

Over the last five years, Arsenal's net spent is about 55% of Chelsea's, so shush your mouth Jose. Plus, Van Gaal is attacked and defended in equal measure...

Only Arsenal Fans Care About Friendlies

We are not entirely surprised after Arsenal fans leapt to the defence of friendlies. We also have mails on Louis van Gaal, Liverpool and more mundane tales...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company