To come at it from my area of expertise, Austria would be a mid-table Bundesliga team with a star in the midfield who would likely be angling for a move to a bigger club in the near future.
That star is Bayern Munich defender David Alaba, but who is deployed within the Austrian team as a midfielder. Truthfully, the only reason he is a defender at Bayern is because he has European Footballer of the Year Franck Ribery ahead of him on the left wing, but the Austrian gets forward a lot for a defender and is known for his skill on set plays.
Back to the broader point of Austria’s level of play, they have only a selection of second division players to choose from in goal, being Energie Cottbus’ Robert Almer and Austria Wien’s Heinz Lindner. Almer has gotten the bulk of the playing time of late and was featured in their last meaningful match against Sweden on 11 October, when Ibrahimovic sealed their World Cup fate in the 86th minute.
If there is a match the team would like to have back from their qualification run, it would have to be their meager 0-0 draw against Kazakhstan back in October of 2012. They controlled play but couldn’t find the net, leaving Kazakhstan empty-handed.
In defense, they have been strong in all matches aside from conceding three goals away to Germany in Munich, the first of which was the record-breaking goal for Miroslav Klose that pushed him ahead of Gerd Müller all-time for the German national team.
Their captain, Schalke player Christian Fuchs, anchors the back line for his country although his time in the Königsblauen side has been limited of late due in large part to positional experimentation.
Austria’s weapons in the midfield, aside from Alaba, include Stoke City man Marko Arnautovic, formerly of Werder Bremen, and Stuttgart’s Martin Harnik. Harnik was born and raised in Hamburg, but decided to play for Austria after never having been called up by the DFB despite always residing in Germany.
In the forward positions, many will recognize Aston Villa’s Andreas Weimann, but also of importance is Trabzonspor’s Marc Janko, who has scored in nearly half of his appearances for Austria.
The match is in the Ernst-Happel-Stadion, named for one of Austria’s best ever players after he died while technically still the coach of the national team in 1992. He also reached great success coaching the Hamburg sides of the 1980’s who won two titles under his reign.
Another Austrian legend, former Werder Bremen and Galaxy man Andreas Herzog currently sits alongside Jürgen Klinsmann on the USMNT bench. He is his nation’s all-time leading scorer.