Bluffer’s guide: Socceroos v Spain

Impress your mates by rattling off Socceroo insights, stats and historical facts ahead of the big game against the Spaniards on Tuesday morning (2am AEST) in Curitiba.

World ranking:

Spain: 1

Socceroos: 62


This will be the first time the Socceroos and Spain have met in an international. And before the World Cup if you'd offered any Socceroos fan the prospect that Australia would be on top of Spain in Group B after two rounds of matches they'd have taken it quicker than a left-footed Cahill volley.

That's precisely the situation that faces Ange Postecoglou's side heading into their clash against La Roja but unfortunately neither side has a point to their name nor can progress after defeats against Chile and the Netherlands.

As such, both sides will be playing for pride at Arena da Baixada in Curitiba when the match kicks off 2am Tuesday (AEST). While the Socceroos have already earned widespread praise for their performances, this will count for little against the deposed world champions.

Host City – Curitiba

A very well organised and planned city – so it comes as a surprise that the surface at the Arena da Baixada was deemed not good enough for the pre-game session. Heat lamps were on one side of the pitch preparing it for the game. The stadium has already played host to the goalless draw between Iran and Nigeria and Ecuador's 2-1 win over Honduras, which was officiated by A-League referee Ben Williams.

Talking points

Spain have gained an unwanted place in the history books by becoming just the fifth reigning World Cup title holders to be knocked out in the group stage. They join Italy 1950, Brazil 1966, France 2002 and Italy 2010 as champions who’ve failed to reach the Round 16. Their current record is also the worst of any defending trophy winners, something they'll no doubt be looking to remedy against the Socceroos.

This is the first time Spain have lost their opening two matches at a World Cup and the first time they're coming off back-to-back loses since October 2006. The seven goals they've leaked in the tournament represents more than they'd conceded in their past 12 World Cup matches combined.

Starting XIs:

Both sides look set to field vastly different line-ups for their last match at Brazil 2014.

The Socceroos have injury concerns in midfield with Mark Bresciano in doubt and Mark Milligan no certainty of making a return. Meanwhile striker Tim Cahill will miss the match through suspension after picking up successive yellow cards.

Mathew Leckie could see his breakout form propel him into the lone striker position, with Matt McKay's strong showing against the Netherlands set to see him retained. Ben Halloran and Oliver Bozanic have both been strong off the bench and will be pushing for a starting berth.

For Spain this match will signal an end of an era. Playmaker Xabi Alonso has announced his international retirement while veteran defender Gerard Pique is set miss the match due to a groin injury.

Coach Vicente Del Bosque has remained coy on whether he'll remain at the helm following his side's early exit. However he may yet decide to ring the changes with his starting XI failing to fire and the team needing to rebuild. 

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