Wales
Wales players attend a training session, October 5, 2016Reuters

A bit of needle has come into the 2018 World Cup qualifier between Austria and Wales, after the former team's manager Marcel Koller claimed the Welsh were lucky in Euro 2016. Going into the tournament, Austria were tipped as one of the dark horses, only to exit from the group stages, with Wales going all the way to the semifinals thanks to some impressive performances.

Chris Coleman was quick to dismiss the "luck" talk, while throwing a grenade of his own into Austria's camp by claiming the team were not able to handle the pressure of a big tournament, which led to their poor performances in Euro 2016.

"I wouldn't put our semifinal achievement down to luck," Coleman said when asked to comment on Koller's remarks. "You can get lucky over 90 minutes sometimes but you don't achieve a semifinal by being lucky, that's for sure.

"We had a little bit of luck here and there, we had bad luck. But the reason for our achievements is because we're a good team.

"A lot of teams went into the tournament with big reputations because they had fantastic [qualifying] campaigns (alluding to Austria's terrific show in the European qualifiers), but they couldn't handle the pressure. Our players handled the pressure, so that's not luck."

With Aaron Ramsey still out due to a hamstring injury, Wales will again heavily depend on the skills of Gareth Bale, who can expect quite a few Austrian players around him throughout the 90 minutes. Bale, though, has the quality to find space even with the extra attention and that quality is what Coleman will bank on in Vienna.

Austria began their recovery from the horror Euro 2016 show with a 2-1 away victory over Georgia, but Koller, for all his talk about luck, will know Wales will offer them their toughest test in a group that also contains Republic of Ireland, Serbia, Georgia and Moldova.

Wales opened their FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign with an authoritative 4-0 win over Moldova, a game in which Bale scored two goals, and if the Real Madrid man finds that kind of form again, Austria will be in trouble.

Playing at home, though, the onus will be on Austria to go out and get a win and be proactive with the ball, and with players of the ilk of David Alaba in the team, they are more than capable of doing just that.

Where to Watch Live

Austria vs Wales is scheduled for an 8.45pm CET (7.45pm BST, 2.45pm ET, 12.15am IST next day) start. Live Streaming and TV information.

India: TV: Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD. Live Streaming: Sonyliv.

UK: TV: Sky Sports 1/HD. Live Streaming: Watch Sky Sports and Sky GoRadio: BBC Radio 5 Live.

Austria: TV: ORF1.

USA: TV: Fox Sports 2. Live Streaming: FoxSoccer2Go.

Australia and South America: TV: ESPN.

Canada: TV: Sportsnet.

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