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Who will start for the Socceroos against Croatia?

It's the last chance for Ange Postecoglou to have a look at his players before deciding the team to face Chile. He could seek to experiment or stick with his likely final line-up


Mat Ryan is Ange Postecoglou's number one and certain to start against Croatia. Mitch Langerak or Eugene Galekovic could perhaps come on in the second half, but the coach may prefer his starting goalkeeper to get another 90 minutes under his belt before the World Cup begins.


Postecoglou claims to be supremely confident that Ivan Franjic, who took a knock to his knee in the farewell friendly against South Africa, will be fit for the tournament. But will he be risked against Croatia? Perhaps Ryan McGowan will move across to right-back. That would likely prompt Alex Wilkinson's inclusion at centre-back alongside Matthew Spiranovic, who missed the game in Sydney last month due to a minor ankle problem. Jason Davidson will play at left-back.


Mark Bresciano is still battling to overcome a flare up of a long-term back issue. Mark Milligan and James Holland will start in the middle, where they could be joined by Mile Jedinak. The Crystal Palace and Australia skipper hasn't played since injuring his groin on the final day of the Premier League. Postecoglou will surely want his captain to get a run-out before the kick-off against Chile, but he could also come off the bench in the second half rather than start the game.

If Jedinak doesn't start, Matt McKay or Massimo Luongo could play in midfield. Another option is for James Troisi to operate as the dedicated attacking midfield or playmaker.


The is the most settled area of the team, with Tim Cahill guaranteed to play at centre-forward against Chile, with Mathew Leckie on the right and Tommy Oar on the left. Postecoglou has a choice of deploying that trio, who started the last two friendlies against Ecuador and South Africa, again in the Croatia match to build their familiarity before the real action starts.

His alternative is to experiment with some different combinations and keep the powder of his likely starting XI dry for the Chile showdon. Mathew Leckie or Adam Taggart could start through the middle, perhaps offering Ben Halloran the chance to start on the right.