lunedì 17 giugno 2013

Australia vs Iraq preview

Holger Osieck and the Australia team will face crucial World Cup qualifier game Tuesday against Iraq. Australia needs a win to gain a place in Brazil next summer. Anything could still happen but with just one win in seven games, the almost eliminated Iraq would not represent a great challenge for Socceroos. Vladimir Petrovic’s side will be without former captain Younis Mahmoud and star player Nashat Akram too. But Australia will play under high pressure. Failing to qualify does mean a huge step back for an improving movement as Australian soccer is. On the field, Osieck seems to have found a right mix between youth and experience. He still relied on a veteran back line anchored to Sasa Ognenovski, and Lucas Neill as centre backs in front of goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer. Luke Wilkshire is the established right back while Matt McKay gained the starting role into a troubled left back spot. Mark Bresciano and Mark Milligan’s performances as central midfielders were a reason for the Socceroos' success in the past matches while Tommy Oar and Robbie Kruse has been showing flasehs of good football on the flanks. Australia’s fans and media has long waited the next generation to rise up and lead the way. Now, both Oar and Kruse seem to get answers to their questions. Osieck could like to start Tom Rogic, the next rising star, up front but he could still be a bit conservative lining up 29-year-old Brett Holman as attacking midfielder behind the centre forward Tim Cahill. Osieck still has the chance to get Australia to the World Cup, although he could made it not in the way the country have hoped. As we said, Australian fans wanted a more easy road to 2014 World Cup and they was waiting for a young, talented new bunch of players to step up and produce. But Osieck was faithful to his veterans during this qualifying campaign, prefering to infuse in the team blend of experience rather than youth. Osieck’s gameplan has always been based on a classicc 4-4-2 formation with a British-style brend of football focused on direct play as his team showed against Japan. This is why Osieck needs Kruse and Oar: they have to be able to repeat their recent performances in the way to have an impact on the game. They will have need of full backs’ support and could also take advantage from Holman’s cutbacks, as it happened against Jordan. On the other side of the game, the 4-4-2 formation Osieck employed wasn’t able to keep Keisuke Honda, lined up as attacking midfielder, out of the game as he was free to operate between the lines in the match against Japan. So Australia’s two backs of four will have to do a better job against Iraq if it will happen again. Osieck has to find a balance between attack and defence in the way to don't suffer a setback.

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