Ben Davies: Wales trip to Austria will be tough test, says defender

Wales players in training
Wales play Georgia in Cardiff three days after they play Austria in Vienna
World Cup qualifier: Austria v Wales
Venue: Ernst Happel Stadium, Vienna Date: Thursday, 6 October Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Radio 5 live and the BBC Sport website and app.

Wales defender Ben Davies believes the trip to Vienna is one of Wales' hardest challenges on the road to Russia.

The Euro 2016 semi-finalists are bidding to reach their first World Cup since 1958 and Tottenham's Davies thinks Austria is a key contest.

"It is definitely one of the hardest games we have, in their last qualification they did well," he said.

"But our group is going to be tough all round. A lot of teams can take points off each other and probably will."

He continued: "Our focus is on ourselves and our own performances. I think that is the right way to look at it.

"We want to continue the success we have had.

"But we know Austria are very strong, especially at home."

Wales are currently top of qualifying Group D after their opening day victory against Moldova, level on points with Austria, who opened their account with a 2-1 win over Georgia.

However, striker Simon Church has joined Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey and Crystal Palace midfielder Jonny Williams in withdrawing from the squad through injury.

Wales players in training
Wales' players trained in Cardiff ahead of their flight to Vienna

Church last played for his Dutch club Roda JC in their 5-0 Eredivisie defeat to Feyenoord on September 25 and has failed to recover in time for Thursday's trip to Austria and the home game with Georgia on Sunday at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Tom Bradshaw has been called up as a replacement.

Barnsley striker Bradshaw's one previous appearance for Wales was a second-half substitute in a 1-0 friendly loss away to Ukraine in March.

The 24-year-old was part of Wales' pre-Euro 2016 training camp in Portugal but failed to make the 23-man squad for France.

Bradshaw is one of three late call-ups to Coleman's side.

Barnsley teammate Adam Davies has replaced goalkeeper Danny Ward and Andrew Crofts deputises for Cardiff's Jazz Richards [ligament damage].

There was better news for Wales with Joe Allen taking part in Tuesday's training session after the influential midfielder reported no reaction to a hamstring problem.

Allen had a tight hamstring before Stoke's visit to Manchester United on Sunday, but he played a full 90 minutes at Old Trafford and scored in the 1-1 draw.

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