World Cup qualifying preview: Australia v Jordan
With the 2014 World Cup hopes of both countries hanging in the balance, games do not come any bigger when Australia host Jordan at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday
By Michael Huguenin
Wilkshire, Ognenovski, Neill, McKay
Oar, Bresciano, Milligan, Kruse
Bani Yaseen, Munir, Fathi, Ali
Am. Deeb, Baniataeyah, Al Murjan, Hashhash
For eight minutes in Japan last Tuesday, everyone connected to the Socceroos dared to dream of an unlikely victory, which would have seen Osieck's team take a giant step towards Brazil 2014. As Tommy Oar's deflected cross looped into the net, Australia suddenly looked like they might win at Saitama Stadium, but Japan earned a deserved point to wrap up their qualification to next year's tournament when Keisuke Honda dispatched a penalty in the first minute of second-half stoppage time.
The draw, which Osieck would certainly have taken before the game in Japan, became largely inconsequential when Oman defeated Iraq later that night to move into second spot in Group B of the AFC's final round of World Cup qualifying.
Oman sit in the second automatic qualifying berth in Group B with nine points but have just one match left, while Australia and Jordan [both seven points] have two games remaining, while bottom side Iraq [five points] have only an outside chance of World Cup qualification.
The Socceroos need to win their last two qualifiers to be assured of a ticket to Brazil, although Australia could qualify with less than six points from the games against Jordan and Iraq if other results go their way.
Osieck will hope Jordan's poor form away from home will give his side an advantage in Melbourne.
Although Jordan have won their past six matches, all but one of those victories came at home. Before that run, they had lost five-straight games away from home.
Jordan have played two warm-up matches before arriving in Melbourne, defeating Libya 1-0 at home before overcoming a second-string New Zealand A-side by the same scoreline in Auckland last Tuesday.
The Socceroos will have to wary of Adnan Hamad's quick and tricky side, with striker Odai Al-Saify, who scored in Auckland, and captain Amer Deeb two of the team's better players.
Osieck's main focus in the lead-up to Tuesday's match at Etihad Stadium has been whether to bring in defensive midfielder Mile Jedinak, who missed the game in Japan with an ankle injury.
While the Crystal Palace captain is one of Osieck's favourites, his replacement at Saitama Stadium, Mark Milligan, played very well after overcoming a nervous start and the Melbourne Victory midfielder could get the nod against Jordan due to his superior passing ability, which could be important to break down the visitors' defence.
|$200 Free Bets For New Customers|
Top 3 Predictions
Australia 1-2 Jordan
- 19.67 %
Australia 2-1 Jordan
- 12.56 %
Australia 0-1 Jordan
- 10.53 %
|World Cup Qualification 2014 (Asia) (WCQA)||11/06/2013||Australia 4 - Jordan 0|
|World Cup Qualification 2014 (Asia) (WCQA)||12/09/2012||Jordan 2 - Australia 1|
|19/11/2013||Australia 1 - Costa Rica 0||FR|
|16/10/2013||Canada 0 - Australia 3||FR|
|12/10/2013||France 6 - Australia 0||FR|
|08/09/2013||Brazil 6 - Australia 0||FR|
|28/07/2013||Australia 3 - China 4||EAFF|
|2||Lucas Edward Neill||Defender|
|3||Mark Daniel Milligan||Defender|
|9||Joshua Blake Kennedy||Striker|
|19||Anas Bani Yaseen||Defender|
|6||Saeed Al Murjan||Midfielder|
|9||Odai Al Saify||Striker|
|15||Shadi Abu Hashhash||Midfielder|
|-||Abdullah Al Zoubi|
|-||Ibrahim Al Zawahreh||Defender|
|5||Mohammad Al Dumeiri||Defender|
|11||Ra'ed Al Nawateer||Striker|
|-||Yasen Al Bakhet||Midfielder|
|14||Abdallah Deeb Salim||Striker|
|20||Hamza Al Daradreh||Striker|