Monday, 10 October 2011

Australia v Oman: Preview

Holger Osieck's men will take on Oman in a Round 3 AFC Qualifier on Tuesday night at ANZ Stadium. An 18-man squad has been called up by Holger, who recently thrashed Malaysia 5-0 in a friendly preparation match.

Expect a switch from the usual 4-4-2/4-3-3 hybrid, with a nominal change to a 4-4-1-1 that will operate more or less the same. Two banks of four; Zullo, Ognenovski, Neill and Williams in defence, McKay, Jedinak, Valeri and Wilkshire in midfield, with Kennedy up-front and Holman as the second striker. Federici will start between the sticks.

Holger has demonstrated an ability to change the style of the Socceroos performance through exchanging players; Ogenenovski and Jedinak are robust and physical players in defence and midfield respectively, while Spiranovic and Kilkenny are more technically oriented and assurred in possession. The former pair are preferred for their combative capabilities while the latter pair are preferred for their elegant passing.

This shouldn't be much of a contest. Australia are back to their dominant best under Osieck. As PM have said before, our strongest line-up in optimum condition is nearly guaranteed to dominate all other teams except South Korea and Japan. Oman will surely have taken note of the 5-0 thrashing dolled out to Malaysia; expect them to sit deep and defend.

Predicted score: 2-0

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