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Friendlies

  • 19 November 2013
  • • 19:30
  • • Allianz Stadium, Sydney
  • Referee: H. Takayama
  • • Attendance: 20165
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Australia-Costa Rica preview: Ange ready for Socceroos bow

Australia-Costa Rica preview: Ange ready for Socceroos bow

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The men in green and gold will hope to make a positive start to a new chapter against Central American opposition in Sydney on Tuesday

POTENTIAL LINE-UPS
AUSTRALIA

Langerak
Franjic, McGowan/Neill, Williams, Davidson
Milligan, Jedinak, Holland/Vidosic
Kruse, Cahill, Oar
COSTA RICA

Navas
Umana, Oviedo, Gamboa, Gonzalez
Cubero, Borges, Bolanos, Rodriguez
Hernandez, Campbell


Australia's fans will get their first glimpse into a new era for the Socceroos when they take on Costa Rica in Sydney on Tuesday.

Ange Postecoglou will be in charge of Australia for the first time at Allianz Stadium and the friendly international versus Costa Rica is widely expected to mark a new beginning for the home side.

Postecoglou, who has built his reputation through winning back-to-back A-League championships with Brisbane Roar and rebuilding Melbourne Victory in just over a season, has been tasked with overhauling Australia's national team.

While the Socceroos qualified for a third successive World Cup in June, consecutive 6-0 losses to Brazil and France painfully exposed deficiencies in the team, which - under former coach Holger Osieck - contained a large number of players who had also played at Germany 2006.

Osieck lost his job after the defeat to France and Postecoglou was installed for the next five years, with the 48-year-old Australian expected to usher in the next generation of talent, and fans will be hoping to see the first glimpses of that project on Tuesday.

Already veteran goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer has retired, although Postecoglou wanted the 41-year-old in his squad to face Costa Rica, while the likes of Luke Wilkshire, Brett Holman and Sasa Ognenovski have been left out.

Despite that, Postecoglou's squad remains fairly similar to the final group of players picked by Osieck and the line-up and tactics versus the Central Americans could very well be more of a tweak in the right direction rather than a complete overhaul at this early stage of the new coach's tenure.

Australia have lost four of their past five matches, while Costa Rica should have more confidence having only suffered one defeat in their past five.

The visitors will include two A-League-based players in Wellington Phoenix attackers Carlos Hernandez and Kenny Cunningham but will be missing starting regulars such as Fulham attacking midfielder Bryan Ruiz and Copenhagen winger Cristian Bolanos.

Jorge Luis Pinto's side should still give Australia a tough contest, however, with the likes of Olympiacos striker Joel Campbell and Everton wide player Bryan Oviedo in the squad.

For Australia, the big questions centre around how Postecoglou will utilise veteran attacker Tim Cahill, who struggled as a lone striker under Osieck, and whether Lucas Neill will retain the captain's armband or even be included in the starting XI.

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Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Australia

Costa Rica

Wins
1
0
0
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Australia AUS
Australia Australia
Draw
Costa Rica CRI
Costa Rica Costa Rica
56%
32%

Top 3 Predictions

Australia AUS
2 - 1
Costa Rica CRI
Australia AUS
2 - 0
Costa Rica CRI
Australia AUS
1 - 2
Costa Rica CRI

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