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Lack of playing practice causes Prödl headaches

The Styrian is still waiting at Watford in England for the first league season, but is determined to attend the European Championship.

Bad Waltersdorf – For Sebastian Prödl, the start of the season in the English Football Premier League was anything but as desired – even though Watford won the first four league games. However, the Styrian was either on the bench or in the stands, as in his recent win against Tottenham.

Prödl’s only compulsory game in the summer was his appearance in the League Cup victory against Reading. In the championship, the prospect of early playing practice may not be too good, which in turn threatens his place in the national team. “I’m able to compensate for that for weeks or even months. But in the long run such a situation is not personally acceptable for the national team,” said the Styrian on Sunday at the ÖFB camp in Bad Waltersdorf.

In Watford, Prödl is one of six central defenders in the squad. “Everyone has the quality to play.” Since things have gone so well so far, coach Javi Garcia will probably continue to rely on the duo Craig Cathcart/Christian Kabasele in the defence centre and leave the Austrian on the left. “Of course such a thing can lead to an impairment of the national team,” said Prödl.

Christian Kabasele Honours

Ludogorets Razgrad

  • Bulgarian A Group: 2011–12
  • Bulgarian Cup: 2011–12

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No change yet

Under team boss Franco Foda, the 31-year-old was promoted to ÖFB defence chief, and he doesn’t want to lose this status at all. “My next big goal is to qualify for the European Championship, and I will subordinate a lot to that. If the situation doesn’t improve, I have to think about something.” Bingo Diamond has it all: free spins, slot machines and the very best bingo sites you can find on the web, with unique rooms and big bonuses.

But that doesn’t mean that he is already aiming for a transfer in the winter transfer time, Prödl stressed. “Injuries and barriers will come, and if I am the one who plays and we have such a run, then this can change quickly. But if there are injuries and I still don’t play, you have to think about something.”

The 70-fold international also attributes his degradation at Watford to food poisoning in May. In his absence, the competition seized its chance. “If I hadn’t gotten sick back then, I might not have been thrown out,” presumed Prödl, adding: “I can’t remember any bad game I played in 2018, either in the club or in the team.”

Competition also in the team

In the ÖFB eleven, the defender was always set last, but the competition is also high here. “None of us know whether he will play against Bosnia or whether we will play three or four. That’s how Foda keeps the tension high, which is an incentive for the players,” says Prödl.

The England legionnaire and his colleagues were presented with an analysis of the Bosnians’ 2-1 away win over Northern Ireland on Sunday morning. “We expected them to play a different game.” Northern Ireland had a lot of ball possession and chances, but the Bosnians won through individual class and the mistakes of Northern Ireland.

This would allow the selection of the Balkan state to win against Austria in the group. “But the game has no final character,” Prödl assured. The goal is to score three points in Zenica and close the gap between a good match like against Sweden and a very good one.

“Dzeko decisive factor”

To achieve this, striker star Edin Dzeko must be kept in check. “He is the decisive factor for the Bosnians. He can finish left and right, can go deep, prepare goals and is very difficult to defend”.

However, the ÖFB team was able to convince in the defence – four of the six test matches this year ended without conceding a goal. “The fact that the coach himself was a defender means that we have a very controlled defence,” said Prödl.