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  • 14 November 2012
  • • 21:00
  • • Hwaseong Stadium, Hwaseong
  • Referee: Wang Zhe
  • • Attendance: 15000

International friendly preview: South Korea v Australia

International friendly preview: South Korea v Australia


Each nation come into the friendly with less-than full-strength squads, with the likelihood of youth being handed a chance by both coaches Indonesia   By KIERAN JONES


Jung S-R
Kim C-S, Kim Y-K, Jung I-H, Choi J-S
Park J-W, Ha D-S
Kim H-B, Kim S-W, Lee K-H
Lee D-G

McGowan, Neill, Spiranovic, Behich
Rukavytsya, Holland, Oar
Brosque, Thompson
It will be a relief to many Australian fans to see a number of new faces in the squad to take on South Korea in Hwaseong on Wednesday, but how much game time they get remains to be seen.

Tom Rogic, Aziz Behich, Mathew Leckie, Mathew Ryan and Eli Babalj are the five players who could make their debut against South Korea as Holger Osieck uses the friendly to trial a host of youngsters.

At 19, Rogic is the youngest of the quintet, and Osieck has called for calm ahead of his potential debut.

While Australia will field a much younger side than the XI which beat Iraq 2-1 in October, there is still a nucleus of senior experience.

Some of that senior experience is arguably a hindrance though, in an inconsequential friendly which some believe should be used to blood youth - particularly with the Socceroos to go into December's EAFF East Asian Cup qualifiers with a less-than full strength squad.

Players like Lucas Neill and Mark Schwarzer are sure to occupy spots in the starting XI which could be used to try other, younger options.

Neill's case is especially intriguing. After receiving a yellow card in the last game against Iraq, he will be unavailable for the next AFC World Cup qualifier against Oman in March, 2013.

Carl Valeri is in the same situation as Neill and will miss the match next year.

With Neill and Valeri both handed suspensions for the next qualifier, the friendly would be a good chance for Osieck to try other players and get combinations right before next March.

Having Neill in the side means one of Michael Thwaite or Matthew Spiranovic will start on the bench.

Being a friendly, Osieck will have the chance to make up to six substitutions, so expect most of the squad to make an appearance.

Ryan McGowan looks likely to get a chance after some strong club form with Hearts in Scotland, with Luke Wilkshire injuring his hamstring on Saturday playing for Dinamo Moscow and withdrawing from the squad.

Melbourne Heart's Aziz Behich could get a chance at left-back.

The home side are also taking the opportunity to blood some younger faces, with all but two of their players hailing from the K-League.

South Korea have elected not to call up Son Heung-Min, a 20-year-old striker playing for Hamburg in the Bundesliga.

Son and Sunderland striker Ji Dong-Wong are just some of the regular names missing from South Korea's squad.

Ji's absence from the attack will be noticeable, as the 21-year-old has scored eight times in 18 matches for South Korea since his debut.

Among those left in the side to face Australia is veteran Lee Dong-Gook, who is South Korea's most experienced player with 93 national caps.

Also missing from the squad is regular captain Kwak Tae-Hwi, a defender whose absence could be exploited by Australia.

South Korea are coming off a 1-0 loss to Iran in their World Cup qualifier in October, and will be out to recover from that shock result.

The last time these two sides met was in the 2011 Asian Cup, a match which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Much has changed since then; playing for Australia that day were David Carney, Jason Culina, Brett Emerton and Harry Kewell, and it is safe to say the side that will start at Hwaseong will be far more youthful.

South Korea have won two and drawn one out of the three meetings between these sides.

Up front, it appears Alex Brosque will start again if Osieck continues to employ a lone striker, although Archie Thompson could come on earlier than usual to see if he can continue his good national-team form.

Adam Sarota will miss the game with a knee injury, but his young Utrecht team mate Tommy Oar will most likely play on the left at some stage.

The Socceroos have also lost more experience in midfield, with Matt McKay withdrawing after suffering a face cut while with club side Busan on the weekend.  Former Adelaide United defender Robbie Cornthwaite - now with Chunnam Dragons in the K-League - has been called up.

Expect an open affair, with both managers keen to explore new attacking options and new ideas throughout the game.

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