Wales midfielder Andy King admits his attempt to get the inside track on Austria from Leicester team-mate Christian Fuchs ended in failure.
Fuchs announced his retirement from international football following Austria’s miserable Euro 2016 tournament which saw them exit at the group stage.
Austria failed to win a game in France as Wales marched into the last four, but three months on the two nations lead the way in their 2018 World Cup qualifying group ahead of their Vienna showdown on Thursday night.
“I spoke to him (Fuchs) about Austria last week,” King said.
“But he’s not one to give too much away. He didn’t want to give me too many secrets and was speaking more about what went on with him.
“I know he was disappointed with how it ended because they’d had a good qualification with nine wins out of 10, then a disappointing Euros.
“It could make it tougher because they will want to show what they can do after the Euros and feel like they want another crack at a tournament.
“We know they are a good team and a lot of their players play for big clubs.
“Look at their qualifying record in recent years and the players they have got at their disposal and you would think it’s going to be one of our toughest games in the group.
“They are at home and they are going to fancy themselves, but it’s one we’re ready for.”
Austria opened their World Cup campaign last month with a hard-fought 2-1 win in Georgia.
Wales also impressed on the first step to Russia by maintaining their Euro 2016 momentum with a handsome 4-0 victory over Moldova.
Gareth Bale scored two and made one as Wales took early ownership of the Group D summit, with King feeling the manner of the win underlined the squad’s growing maturity.
“It was a potential banana skin game for us,” King said.
“I thought the lads handled it really well, having had the highs in the summer and then almost be back to square one in terms of qualifying and going again for a major tournament.
“We’ve played in a lot of big games now. The tournament has obviously given us confidence and shown we can stand up against the best teams.
“But we also need to stay focused against the smaller teams, and that’s what we did in the last game.”
King set for 37th Wales cap
King is poised to win his 37th cap at the Ernst Happel Stadion with Arsenal playmaker Aaron Ramsey again sidelined by injury.
And the 27-year-old believes he has benefited from being part of Leicester’s Champions League campaign.
“The more games you can play against European players and their style of play the better,” King said.
“Playing in the Champions League will help me on the international stage and vice-versa.
“It’s a massive blow to be without Aaron, his loss would weaken any team and we are no different from that.
“But we’ve got a squad ethic here and we’re going to need that over the 10 games of the campaign.”