France-Australia Preview: Osieck's job on the line in Paris
The Soceroos boss is under intense pressure in the wake of September's 6-0 drubbing at the hadns of Brazil - even though his side have already qualified for the World Cup
By Michael Huguenin
Coming into the friendly on the back of a 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Brazil in September, the German is under intense pressure despite having helped Socceroos qualify for next year's World Cup.
That huge defeat, combined with Australia's failure at the East Asian Cup and an inability to regenerate an ageing squad, have put Osieck in the firing line, with reports suggesting that the Football Federation Australia (FFA) have already begun sounding out potential replacements.
Another heavy defeat could therefore signal the end for Osieck. Indeed, while the Socceroos may be coming up against one of the world's best teams for the second outing in a row, they must avoid embarrassment this time around.
In terms of team news, Brett Holman (quadriceps) and Tom Rogic (groin) have been withdrawn from the squad due to injury.
Osieck may decide to give opportunities to fresher faces against France, or leave the experimentation until Tuesday's clash with Canada in London.
Veteran goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer has been left out of the squad and that opens up a position for either Mat Ryan (Club Brugge) or Mitch Langerak (Borussia Dortmund).
Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough), Jason Davidson (Heracles) should get game time, as should Dario Vidosic (Sion) and possibly the likes of Oliver Bozanic (Luzern), Jackson Irvine (Kilmarnock) and Mathew Leckie (Frankfurt).
France coach Didier Deschamps has named a strong squad but could have an eye on his team's World Cup qualifier against Finland on Tuesday.
The matches should provide striker Karim Benzema with yet another chance to break his international goal drought.
The Real Madrid striker last netted for his country in June last year and could finally be back on the scoresheet playing in front of the likes of Franck Ribery and Samir Nasri.
Les Bleus are unlikely to finish top of their group in qualifying but can finish no lower than second – probably behind reigning world champions Spain.
Several of Deschamps' second-string players are likely to be given the chance to show what they are capable of against a struggling Australia outfit.
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Top 3 Predictions
France 2-0 Australia
- 17.27 %
France 3-0 Australia
- 12.95 %
France 3-1 Australia
- 11.51 %
|International Friendlies (FR)||Oct 11, 2013||France 6 - Australia 0|
|Nov 19, 2013||France 3 - Ukraine 0||WCQ|
|Nov 15, 2013||Ukraine 2 - France 0||WCQ|
|Oct 15, 2013||France 3 - Finland 0||WCQ|
|Oct 11, 2013||France 6 - Australia 0||FR|
|Sep 10, 2013||Belarus 2 - France 4||WCQ|
|Returns:||France £13.50||Sign up with Betway for an exclusive bet £10 get £20 free bet!|
|Returns:||Draw £57.50||Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Returns:||Australia £130.00||Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|2||Lucas Edward Neill||Defender|
|-||Jason Alan Davidson||Defender|
|9||Joshua Blake Kennedy||Striker|
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed