WCQ Playoff - Second Leg
MATCH UP STATS
WCQ Playoff - Second Leg
To qualify for the next roundAustralia: $1.20 at William HillSyria: $5.50 at CrownBet
SOME will say Australia were unlucky to leave Malaysia last week with only a 1-1 draw to show for their efforts.
Others – namely those who sat through the entirety of the first leg – will say the Socceroos were fortunate to get anything at all.
Missed chances and dodgy penalties aside, Ange Postecoglou’s men dug their own grave when they sat deep and allowed Syria to run at them in the second half.
Why an experienced, capable team would go on the defensive against such beatable opposition remains a mystery, especially on neutral territory so close to home.
Although the Aussies got the away goal they wanted, they will have to show much more in Tuesday night’s return leg in Sydney.
“For us, the objective is clear. We win, we’re through,” said Postecoglou, whose reign as Socceroos coach will almost certainly come to an end if Australia do not progress to Russia 2018.
“If we start thinking about scorelines or anything other than beating the opposition, you get into tricky situations.
“What we know is if we win tomorrow night we’ll be through to the next round.
“Our objective is to play our football – we want to be aggressive, attacking, take it to the opposition and test them and that’s what we’ll do.”
Postecoglou has made it clear that he will not deviate from the divisive tactical approach that has seen the Socceroos win only three of their past eight World Cup qualifiers.
However, the former Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory boss hinted in his pre-match press conference that there could be a few changes for the second leg.
One of those is Tim Cahill, of whom Postecoglou said: “It’s an option for us.
“We obviously kept a few back the other night. It’s the way we’ve chartered our course through qualifying process, with different formation and players at different times.
“Tim’s one of those who didn’t play the other night and is raring to go. But there are a few we can look to in terms of selection.”
Syria will have to make some alterations of their own, with defender Hadi Al-Masri, midfielder Khaled Almbayed and star forward Omar Kharbin all suspended for the clash at ANZ Stadium.
Socceroos best bets for first goalscorer
$4 – Tomi Juric
$4.33 – Tim Cahill
$5.50 – Robbie Kruse, James Troisi
$6 – Mustafa Amini
$7 – Jackson Irvine
$7.50 – Mathew Leckie
$8 – Tom Rogic, Nikita Rukavytsya
$9 – Craig Goodwin
$10 – Aaron Mooy
$11.60 – No goalscorer
$12 – Massimo Luongo
$13 – Mark Milligan
$21 – Milos Degenek, Brad Smith
$23 – Aziz Behich, Ryan McGowan
$26 – Matt Jurman, Josh Risdon, Trent Sainsbury
Tim Cahill – The stage is set for the greatest of all Socceroos to do what he does best. Timmy is no longer the all-action player he was five years ago, but still there are not many who can time a run and leap as well as the former Everton star. The coach has hinted that Cahill could start, so there is plenty of reason to back him in for the opening goal of the game.
Tom Rogic – This campaign has seen the Aussies weighed down by a host of nearly-men who have struggled to replicate their club form in the international arena. Serial offenders Mat Leckie and Robbie Kruse combined for the opening blow last week, so is it now Rogic’s turn to prove his worth? Wait and see whether he makes the starting XI before you put any money behind the Celtic man.
Aaron Mooy – There is always value in backing a bloke who knows how to hit a dead ball. Mooy ran the midfield in Malacca without doing a whole lot in the attacking third, but we can expect him to have more opportunities to forge forward on home soil. At $10 odds, the Huddersfield Town star is well worth a stab in the first goalscorer betting.
Australia vs. Syria match prediction
There are no more second chances for the Socceroos. Home advantage and a full squad mean no more excuses either. Anything but an outright win will go down as a failure, and we are backing Postecoglou and his charges to answer the critics with a strong performance.
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