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Milligan set for positional switch ahead of Syria showdown


With Trent Sainsbury suspended for the Socceroos' final group game against Syria, Mark Milligan is set to be dropped back into defence.

The Australian captain has impressed in a holding midfield role to date in the UAE but has been training alongside Degenek in a defensive position ahead of Wednesday morning's game.

Having played at centre-back for the Socceroos during the World Cup, the switch isn't too surprising and will allow Jackson Irvine and Massimo Luongo to start in midfield. 

Though Australia only just scraped past Syria when they met in a World Cup qualifier, Milligan is confident the green and gold can get the job done - but stressed they must be willing to give it everything. 

"We'll have a look at them, but we will go into the match with a lot of confidence," Milligan said. 

"We do believe in the players that we have here and they way that we're doing things.

"You can't leave anything in the tank. You have to go out and show all your cards in that match."

A day to remember for Popovic and Perth


With Markus Babbel left fuming, Perth Glory coach Tony Popovic was delighted to see his side stage a second impressive comeback in a week on Sunday.

After coming from 2-0 down against Brisbane Roar last weekend, Perth overturned a 3-1 deficit to claim a 4-3 win against the Wanderers and extend their lead atop the A-League ladder to six points.

For Popovic, the manner of the victory was almost as important as the three points. 

“If we want to have a chance to win things, these are the games we’ve got to win," Popovic said.

"We found a win today and we won by dominating

“[It was] a crazy type of game, we created an amazing opportunity in the first couple of minutes.

“Then they had a lot of attempts on goal and we defended very poorly today. It’s no real surprise we struggled at times.

“But what’s that they say about character? I’m delighted for everyone involved, the players, the fans, it’s a day I’m sure we’ll all remember."

Babbel's big referee blast


The Wanderers coach believes the FFA would have to be 'f*cking blind' not to see an issue with the standard of refereeing in the A-League.

Western Sydney conceded three goals in seven minutes against Perth Glory as they lost 4-3 on Sunday. 

While his side capitulated to an extent, a soft penalty against the red and black settled the contest with Babbel left fuming.

"The quality — if I see all the games, not only watching our games, I see many, many more games — this is not good enough. That’s it," Babbel said.

"Now you have the help with the VAR and even then you do so many mistakes."

Check out Babbel's full blast here. 

Irvine makes case to be Socceroos starter


Would he be in your starting side?

With more substitute appearances than starts for the Socceroos, Jackson Irvine seized his chance to play the full 90 minutes against Palestine on Friday.

The Australian midfielder was one of the green and gold's best as he replaced Massimo Luongo in the heart of midfield to earn just his 10th start for the Socceroos.

"I enjoyed it. It was great to be involved from the start," Irvine told

"I don't prepare any differently for a game whether I'm starting or not starting – you're going to have to contribute in one way or another.

"But to be involved for the full 90 minutes was fantastic, my first 90 minutes at a major tournament."

Irvine's presence in the air proved crucial for Australia in Dubai and he was unlucky not to score with a number of headers in the box. 

While Luongo will be breathing down his neck to steal his spot back, Irvine may have finally gone from Socceroos sub to starter.