Austrian midfielder Julian Baumgartlinger said his country are braced for a passionate, physical challenge from the Republic of Ireland in their crunch World Cup qualifier.

Martin O'Neill brings his men to Vienna for the Group D showdown on Saturday week three points ahead of their hosts in the table.

Austria fell to a 3-2 defeat in Serbia last time out, and Baumgartlinger is braced for another testing encounter. 

"A lot," he told RTÉ Sport when asked what he expects from the Irish. "I'm looking forward to that game because it's going to be really important for us in the group stage.

"After our last loss in Serbia we really need three points. We know Ireland are really strong. We saw them in the Euros and in the last qualifier games.

"We expect a physical team, a good team, a passionate team. No games are must-wins nowadays, but we'll try everything to win. It's our goal."

Baumgartlinger helped Bayer Leverkusen to a 1-0 win at Wembley against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday night. 

Kevin Kampl's second-half winner left the Premier League team's hopes of qualification hanging by a thread, with the Germans two points clear of them in second, behine group leaders Monaco.

"We knew we couldn't afford to lose," Baumgartlinger added. "We had a great team effort. We were a little bit lucky at times. 

"But we really kept fightig for 90 minutes and also had a good plan. We did good."