Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou says he will make another round of changes for Australia’s semi-final clash with United Arab Emirates - though his starting XI remains to be seen.
Speaking at the official pre-match press conference in front of a packed media contingent from Asia and Australia, Postecoglou revealed he will look to freshen up his side for the do-or-die encounter.
“Everyone’s pulled up really well from the quarter final game. Obviously Matty Spiranovic is available again so we’ve a full list of 22 to select from which is key for me.
“We’ll have a final look at it today and obviously we’ve had a look at the opposition in the last couple of days.
“We’ll make some changes. Again they’ll be designed to put out a team that we think can be successful tomorrow night."
Spiranovic is expected to replace Alex Wilkinson in the heart of defence, while Mat Leckie and Ivan Franjic could be rotated after carrying slight niggles following the quarter final win over China.
Postecoglou praised the depth of his squad ahead of Tuesday’s clash and insists the team will get the job done against the Emirates regardless of the personnel on the field.
“We learnt from the World Cup that we didn’t have a great deal of depth and we’ve spent the last six months creating some depth in the team. We’re getting the benefit of that now,” Postecoglou said.
“The biggest difference for us is that we’ve spent the last six months exposing as many players as we could to how tough international football is and also expose them to how we want to play.
“Now I’ve got every player who’s in this camp who I’m quite confident I can put them out there and they can do the job.”
The Socceroo boss dismissed claims that his side dodged a bullet by avoiding Japan in the semi-finals, instead suggesting the UAE will be just as difficult to overcome.
The Blue Samurai were widely expected to be the Socceroos’ opponents in Newcastle but Postecoglou revealed it was a scenario his side were more than prepared for after the UAE pulled off a shock win in the shootout last Friday night.
“We’ve got great respect for them and we’ve been tracking them since the World Cup.
“We had a feeling that they could be a likely opponent… and thought they’d be one of the teams to get through to the knockout rounds.
“We know them really well. As we do with every opponent we’ve analysed them and we know tomorrow night is going to be a real tough challenge for us.”
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