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WC Qualification Asia

  • November 11, 2011
  • • 14:00
  • • Sultan Qaboos Sport Complex, Masqaṭ (Muscat)
  • Referee: Ali Abdulnabi
  • • Attendance: 4500
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AFC 2014 World Cup Qualifying Preview: Oman v Australia

AFC 2014 World Cup Qualifying Preview: Oman v Australia

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The Socceroos can seal their passage into the fourth round of World Cup qualifiers with victory in Muscat, while Paul Le Guen's side need a result to boost their ailing hopes


PROBABLE LINEUPS
OMAN


Al Habsi
Al Alawi, Suhail, Al Sheiba, Mudhafar
Al Hadhri, Al Mahaijri, Bashir
Al Hosni, Al Ajmi
Al Muqbali

AUSTRALIA

Portugal
Schwarzer
Wilkshire, Neill, Spiranovic, Zullo
Emerton, Valeri, Jedinak, McKay
Kennedy, Holman

Oman Football Association chairman Sayyid Khalid Al Busaidi has put the heat on the national team, stating that "losing is not an option" in this game. Subsequently, coach Paul Le Guen has made some changes to the side which meekly lost 3-0 in Australia last month, with Fawzi Bashir and Hussain Al Hadhri likely to start in midfield. Right-back Rashid Al Farsi is out of the side due to a cruciate ligament injury.

Socceroos coach Holger Osieck will be much more relaxed than Le Guen although he is without Everton's Tim Cahill who has been battling a groin problem. A-League duo Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton return to the squad after missing the last matches, although the former may be left out of the starting line-up due to his indifferent club form and the impressive partnership struck up by Brett Holman and Joshua Kennedy in attack. Both players are scoring for fun at their respective clubs. Emerton could get a start on the right side of midfield, while Mark Schwarzer returns to take over from Adam Federici.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • The Socceroos and Oman have often met since Australia moved into the Asian Football Confederation. Australia beat Oman 3-0 last month, while they edged past them twice by the odd goal in the 2011 Asian Cup, but needed a late Tim Cahill goal at the 2007 tournament to snatch a 1-1 draw.
  • Australia have won their past five matches and are unbeaten in normal time in almost 12 months. Their last defeat was a 3-0 loss to Egypt in Cairo on November 18 of last year.
  • Oman drew 0-0 with Qatar in a friendly last week, but prior to that had lost their past two matches 3-0, to Australia and Thailand.
  • Oman may not have qualified for the fourth round of World Cup qualifying four years ago nor the 2011 Asian Cup, but they lifted the 2009 Gulf Cup of Nations, with striker Hassan Rabia (right) the hero.
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Players to watch

Fawzi Bashir

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The Bahrain midfielder is expected to be brought back into the starting line-up after missing the 3-0 loss to Australia. Coach Paul Le Guen is hoping his influence can spark Bahrain to life, while catching the Socceroos off guard.

B. Holman

Position: Midfielder

Games: 11

  • 3
  • 0
  • 0
Australia's form man only just returned from a groin strain suffered in the Dutch Eredivisie playing with leaders AZ Alkmaar. Holman netted in the 3-0 win over Oman last month and his energy and enthusiasm left the West Asians baffled. Sure to be a handful again.

Editor's Prediction

Oman were found well short in Australia last month and it's hard to imagine much changing despite a change of venue. The Socceroos won well in Saudi Arabia early in the qualifiers and have the quality to do so again in Muscat with Brett Holman and Joshua Kennedy in fine form in attack, while Lucas Neill organises the backline.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Oman

Australia

Wins
1
2
2
Wins

Betting & Predictions

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