WCQ: UAE v Australia – Wednesday 1.30am (AEST), Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, UAE
The Socceroos got their final round of World Cup qualification off to a winning start against Iraq but things will get tougher in the UAE with temperatures forecast in the 40’s.
The UAE are also coming off a huge upset win in Japan. They conceded early but a brace from Ahmed Khalil was enough to hand them an all important 3 points.
Coach Ange Postecoglou can draw plenty of positives from the win over Iraq. The midfield trio of Mooy, Rogic and Luongo were dominant and with Jedinak anchoring in the holding role the Socceroos have the strongest midfield in all of Asia. It provides a great building block to work with and Leckie also impressed The Wolf.
Wolfy would like to see Juric hold down a central role with Leckie working off him. Cahill will replace one of them, most likely Juric, for this one and after the success of Milligan at the back we may see him play there again.
The last meeting here ended in a 0-0 draw and in scorching hot conditions don’t expect to see expansive football. There won’t be more than two goals and the best value bet has to be the draw.