Australia vs Colombia preview: ‘Aggressive' La Tricolors not taking Socceroos lightly

As is rarely the case in football, the Socceroos clash with Colombia promises to be anything but friendly.

After Australia were humbled 4-1 by Norway and Colombia came from behind to stun France 3-2, both sides will take to Craven Cottage on Wednesday morning (AEDT) with respective points to prove.

For new Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk the pressure has already ramped up on his side following a particularly disjointed performance in Oslo. 

Watching on from the bench, before coming on in the second half, QPR midfielder Massimo Luongo saw first hand his side’s struggles adjusting to a new style of play.

Article continues below

“Things that we probably took too literally from the manager and we probably are trying to do things too much for the manager but things that are so easily corrected and we’ve looked at it and you can just change it like that,” Luongo said.

Striker Tomi Juric also started on the bench against Norway before a late cameo and echoed his teammate’s sentiments.

“Bert’s intentions were for us to play a little bit direct, put on pressure and I think we understood that a little bit too well,” Juric said.

“I think that’s something we need to take a little bit of initiative in ourselves and in our game and I think that’s where you will notice an improvement.”

Socceroos squad set for a shake-up

After handing three players their national debuts in Oslo, van Marwijk has confirmed changes will be made to his line-up with the biggest coming between the sticks.

Long-time number one Mat Ryan will be rested for the game with Brad Jones and Danny Vukovic set for 45 minutes each as they get a rare taste of Socceroos action.

"This camp is to get to know each other," van Marwijk said.

"I told the players I cannot promise to let everyone play, this is a camp to see as much as possible.

“There will be a few changes, I like to see most of the players.

"I said I want to see all three goalkeepers. They have got as good an opportunity as Mat to be number one."

Among the other changes Josh Risdon and James Meredith will be pushing for a start in what was a shaky back four against Norway while Tomi Juric or Tim Cahill are in line to start up front. 

Colombia taught France a lesson

Up against a Colombian side that showed their tactical and mental strength to overturn a 2-0 deficit against France last time out, improvements along with the changes are a must for the Socceroos to avoid a potentially heavy defeat.

The South Americans, ranked 13th in the world, are more than capable of taking a game by the scruff of its neck with France coach Didier Deschamps admitting his side were taught a thing or two against them.

"We had a lot of trouble. They put in more aggression, and we did not do so at all," he told TMC.

“This Colombian team has given us a lesson in aggression.

“They don't let go.”

Prior to the game against France, Colombia's last game in action saw them beat China 4-0 in November after they narrowly secured a spot at the 2018 World Cup after finishing fourth in South American qualifying. 

"There are no friendlies"

While it remains to be seen whether Colombia will field a full-strength side after stars James Rodriquez and Radamel Falcao played against the French, key defender Davinson Sanchez certainly isn’t taking the game lightly.

"It's a team which we saw and got to know in the playoff (against Honduras)," the Tottenham player said.

"They have a great physical game and are very good with the aerial balls, although they can also develop their soccer on the ground.

"Now they have a new coach and they are implementing a new methodology.

"For us, there are no friendlies and we know that each encounter is worth a lot."