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Ange may opt to wrap the defender in cotton wool

Five things to look out for in Australia v Croatia: Will Franjic & Jedinak be risked?

Ange may opt to wrap the defender in cotton wool

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Goal Australia identifies the key issues under the microscope in Australia's final pre-World Cup warm-up game, with the fitness of the captain and right-back top of the list

1) Ivan Franjic or Ryan McGowan at right-back?

Ange Postecoglou has insisted Franjic will be fit for the Chile game after taking a knock to the knee against South Africa. But should he be risked against Croatia on Friday? His likely replacement is Ryan McGowan, who played at right-back in his last international friendly in South America, and we all remember how that went. The Shandong Luneng defender was destroyed by Neymar in the 5-0 loss to Brazil last September. That's not to say he doesn't deserve another chance to prove his worth at fullback, but a much-improved performance is required to offer reassurance.

2) Jedinak to start or come off the bench?

The Crystal Palace and Australia captain hasn't played since the final day of the Premier League season on May 12, when he injured his groin in the 2-2 draw with Fulham. Having returned to full training, the midfielder is on track to start against Chile, but will be short of match practice. Postecoglou will want to get some minutes into his skipper's legs in Bahia on Friday, but it remains to be seen if that will be from the start or off the bench in the second half. Which leads us to the next question...

3) 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3?

A lot of coaches don't like talking about formations because they don't want to back themselves into a corner or provide journalists with the ammunition to critique their decisions. But there's no denying Australia set up as a 4-2-3-1 against Costa Rica and Ecuador before switching to a 4-3-3 against South Africa.

In the friendly at ANZ Stadium, Mark Milligan, James Holland and James Troisi were the three in the middle, with the Atalanta man the furthest forward. Largely ineffective in a playmaking role, Troisi was withdrawn at half-time in favour of Matt McKay, which left Australia with a void in the hole behind Cahill. Mark Bresciano is unlikely to play due to his back issues and Tom Rogic has been cut, leaving Dario Vidosic and Oliver Bozanic as the other options to play as a central attacking midfielder.

4) Will Adam Taggart be rewarded with game-time?

With the squad having said goodbye to the injured Josh Kennedy, the Newcastle Jets striker - who scored in the game against Parana Clube - is a step closer to playing on the biggest stage in the football world. Postecoglou appears to prefer moving Mathew Leckie to the centre when Cahill tires and is likely to bring on Ben Halloran to play on the right. But the Croatia game is a good opportunity to give the A-League's golden boot winner a taste of what it takes to beat elite opposition by bringing him on this one.

5) Can Matthew Spiranovic shore up the backline?

It tells you everything you need to know about the shaky state of Australia defence that we are relying on the return of an A-League player with just 17 caps to tighten things up at the back. In the absence of Rhys Williams and Curtis Good, the 25-year-old is Postecoglou's first-choice centre-back. Quicker and better on the ball than Alex Wilkinson and McGowan, the Socceroos will look to the Western Sydney Wander to lead from the back and martial a defence which was exposed several times by an understrength South Africa in Sydney last month.

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