Craig Moore’s Australia v Syria Preview: Socceroos To Keep World Cup Dream Alive


Australia v Syria | Tuesday, October 10, 8pm (AEDT), ANZ Stadium, Sydney

The advantage is certainly with the Socceroos.

They have the away goal and if they play a smart game, then they should be in the driver's seat.

Syria did look dangerous when they attacked though.

Very intriguing affair with so much at stake.

We’ll see a different type of game because of the weather conditions but also the pitch conditions.

We’ll try and be upbeat and play at a high tempo which is achievable in our own country.

We have to play smart though.

Do or die football is about being professional and knowing exactly what it takes to get to the other side.

We’ll not be able to switch off or allow Syria the amount of time in which they were able to control the second half in the first leg in Malaysia.

 

I thought Josh Risdon (pictured above) worked hard and also got forward in a positive manner in the first half and Matt Jurman wasn’t really tested.

That all changed in the second half though and I don’t think we addressed it quick enough if at all.

Say what you want about Syria being direct but they were camped in our half for far too long in the second half and we allowed them too much space in wider areas.

This’ll need to improve as they have shown they have capable players.

Away from home our defensive effort in the opening leg was very good and a 1-1 result is something we’re more than happy to take home.

We showed at times the desperation needed to progress and as much as we would like to control games but it’s not always possible away from home in humid conditions and on a poor playing surface.

We need to be aggressive but smart in our play.

The danger will be not when they have the ball but when we do. 

Defenders must be organised and be set up for losing the ball.

Do this week and it’ll go a long way to us getting the result we need. 

KEY BATTLE: Mark Milligan v Al Khatib 

Millsy (pictured above) will have his work cut out to keep this very intelligent Firas Al Khatib quiet.

He came on and made a real impact and played with an arrogance of a very good player.

He wanted the ball at all times and made things happen.

Milligan will need to be at his best and look to impose himself and the team on Syria to come out on top in this battle.

I believe he can and for the Socceroos’ sake, I hope he does exactly that.

The Verdict

We played with attacking options away from home in the opening leg and from recent interviews, it sounds like there might be some changes.

Every player including Tim Cahill has a role to play and Ange has some fresh players who'll be desperate to make a winning contribution to the team. 

Unibet Odds: Australia 1.40 Draw 4.90 Syria 9.50

Tip: Australia 

Correct score: Australia 2-1 (9.00) 

Total goals: Over 2.5 (1.87)

Double chance: Australia or Draw (1.07) 

Both teams to score: Yes (2.18) 

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