If the Socceroos hope to keep their Asian Cup hopes alive, they simply have to bounce back against Palestine.
On paper, it should be a straightforward assignment for Graham Arnold’s men, but that’s what many predicted against Jordan too.
The pressure is certainly on Arnold and the Socceroos following their shock opening match loss, while Palestine ground out a 0-0 in their first game against Syria.
Recent history is a concern for Australia heading into the match. The Socceroos are winless in their past 13 matches played outside of Australia and they have scored just 12 goals in that run.
Possession hasn’t been a problem — converting that possession into goals, has.
So who will step up against Palestine?
Jamie Maclaren failed to make the most of his unexpected start against Jordan and, as a whole, the Socceroos just didn’t look threatening enough in the front third.
With so many key players out injured Arnold doesn’t have a heap of depth to work with, so the responsibility will lie with his current crop to lift their performance.
WHEN AND WHERE IS IT?
The match takes place on Friday night Australian time at the Rashid Stadium in Dubai.
Kick off is at 10pm AEDT.
HOW CAN YOU WATCH IT?
You can catch all the action on FOX SPORTS 505.
The Socceroos have been monitoring both Tom Rogic and Andrew Nabbout in the week leading up to the match.
Rogic has a broken bone in his hand but took part in a full training session and is expected to be fit for the match, while Nabbout is struggling with a groin strain that kept him out of Australia’s opener against Jordan.
Chris Ikonomidis is likely to replace Robbie Kruse in the starting line-up, while Rhyan Grant will come in for the injured Josh Risdon. Mathew Leckie remains sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Goalkeepers: Mat Ryan, Danny Vukovic, Mitch Langerak
Defenders: Aziz Behich, Milos Degenek, Alex Gersbach, Rhyan Grant, Matthew Jurman, Josh Risdon, Trent Sainsbury (PSV Eindhoven)
Midfielders: Mustafa Amini, Jackson Irvine, James Jeggo, Massimo Luongo, Mark Milligan, Tom Rogic
Forwards: Apostolos Giannou, Chris Ikononomidis, Robbie Kruse, Mathew Leckie, Awer Mabil, Jamie Maclaren, Andrew Nabbout
Goalkeepers: Tawfiq Ali, Amr Kaddura, Rami Hamadeh
Defenders: Daniel Mustafá, Mohammed Saleh, Tamer Salah, Musab Al-Battat, Jaka Ihbeisheh, Abdullah Jaber, Abdelatif Bahdari, Alexis Norambuena
Midfielders: Mohammed Bassim, Shadi Shaban, Jonathan Cantillana, Tamer Seyam, Sameh Maraaba, Pablo Tamburrini, Oday Dabbagh, Nazmi Albadawi, Mohammed Darweesh
Forwards: Yashir Islame, Khaled Salem, Mahmoud Wadi