Australia will be hoping to edge one step closer to a spot at next year's World Cup when they host Syria in the second-leg of play-offs at Stadium Australia in Sydney on Tuesday.
Ange Postecoglou's men are favourites to advance to the second stage of the play-offs after securing a crucial away goal in their 1-1 draw against the Qasioun Eagles at the Hang Jebat Stadium in Melaka, Malaysia last week.
The winner of the clash will take on either Panama or Honduras with both sides currently vying for a fourth-placed finish with one match remaining in CONCACAF qualifications.
|Game||Australia vs Syria|
|Date||Tuesday, October 10|
|Time||22:00 AEDT / 10:00 BST / 5:00 ET|
TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM
In Australia, the game will be available to watch live on television on Fox Sports (501) or Channel 9's Go!
|AUS TV channel||Online stream|
|Fox Sports (501)/GO!||N/A|
In the US, viewers can watch the game streamed live online using ESPN3.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
SQUADS & TEAM NEWS
|Goalkeepers||Ryan, Langerak, Birighitti|
|Defenders||Behich, Degenek, Goodwin, Jurman, McGowan, Risdon, Sainsbury, Smith|
|Midfielders||Amini, Irvine, Luongo, Milligan, Mooy, Rogic, Troisi|
|Forwards||Cahill, Juric, Leckie, Kruse, Rukavytsya|
Bristol City defender Bailey Wright, who missed the first-leg due to suspension, has been ruled out for the clash on Tuesday after succumbing to injury three days out from the upcoming clash.
The 25-year-old will be replaced by Al-Sharjah's Ryan McGowan, whilst Mark Birighitti also earned a call-up for the injured Danny Vukovic, who sustained an injury in training in Malaysia.
Potential starting XI: Ryan; Degenek, Sainsbury, Jurman; Risdon, Milligan, Mooy, Behich; Leckie, Cahill, Rogic
|Goalkeepers||Alma, Al-Youssef, Madanieh|
|Defenders||Yousseff, Al Masri, Al Medani, Al Ajan, Al Baour, Somi, Jeniat,|
Al Mawas, Al Mbayed, Haj Mohamad, Kalfa, Jaffal, Hamwiah, Al Shbli, Mido, Omari
|Forwards||Al Soma, Kharbin, Al Khatib, Mardkian|
Syria have retained the same 23-man squad which held the Ange Postecoglou's men to a 1-1 draw.
However, head coach Ayman Al Hakeem could be tempted to replace 23-year-old Omar Kharbin with veteran forward Firas Al Khatib, who almost singlehandedly carved up the entire Socceroos defence upon his introduction in the 75th minute in Melaka.
Potential starting XI: Alma; Youssef, Al Masri, Al Medani, Al Ajan; Al Mawas, Al Mbayed, Haj Mohamad, Kalfa; Al Soma, Al Khatib
BETTING & MATCH ODDS
Australia are priced as favourites to win at odds of (1.36), that is, according to bet365, with Syria well and truly the bookies' underdogs at (9.50). A draw is also available at odds of (4.75).
Australia had largely been tipped to earn automatic qualification into next year's showpiece, but were forced to settle for a third-placed finish behind group winners Japan and runners-up Saudi Arabia after suffering a 2-0 defeat away against the Samurai Blue in their penultimate fixture before earning a narrow 2-1 victory at home against Thailand.
Thursday's encounter against Syria in Malaysia proved to be an equally frustrating result for the Socceroos as they forced to share the spoils after opening the scoring late into the first-half courtesy of birthday-boy Robbie Kruse but were pegged a goal back after Omar Al Soma - who was awarded a dubious penalty before subsequently slotting home from the spot with six minutes remaining on the clock.
A win or a scoreless draw in front of their home fans at Stadium Australia, where they not only claimed the Asian Cup but also famously defeated Uruguay on penalties to qualify for their first World Cup in 32 years, will be enough to see the reigning Asian Champions progress to the second-round of play-offs, where they will play the fourth-placed nation from CONCACAF qualifications.
"For us the objective is clear. If we win, we’re through," Postecoglou said.
"If you start thinking about scorelines and anything other than just trying to beat the opposition than I think you get into some tricky situations.
"What we know is if we win tomorrow night then we’re through to the next round.
"Our objective is to play our football. We want to be aggressive, we want to be attacking, we want to take it to the opposition and test them. And that’s what we’ll do."