Burning questions for Caltex Socceroos before pivotal Kuwait clash

Three years ago, Kuwait were the springboard to Australia’s AFC Asian Cup win.

In October, the Middle East nation will be the first step on the way to defending that title.

Crucially, the match will reveal the first glimpse of the Caltex Socceroos under Graham Arnold.

While the Arnold era has already yielded some changes, and promises an exciting new direction overall, much still resides in the realm of speculation.

READ: Arnold era to commence against Kuwait in October
READ: Everything you need to know about Kuwait
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And although it will take considerable time for all the machinations of Arnold-era Caltex Socceroos to be set in stone, this clash against the one-time AFC Asian Cup champions offers fans a sight at what might be waiting around the corner.

The Caltex Socceroos commenced their 2015 AFC Asian Cup campaign against Kuwait with a 4-1 victory.

New talent to be blooded?

One of the lead talking points in the build up to October’s Kuwait friendly will naturally surround squad selection.

Arnold’s recent Antalya training camp included several surprise names alongside some established senior faces, and how the Caltex Socceroos boss assembles these parts on match day will have Australian football fans glued to their screens.

Since his appointment, the 55-year-old has made it clear he is willing to hand emerging talent their chance when the opportunity arises. October's clash against Kuwait should provide the likes of Kenny Dougall, Mustafa Amini and Awer Mabil the chance to deliver a strong impression.

Moreover, the Kuwait match offers a great chance for such players to build claims as a potential wildcard when the AFC Asian Cup in January commences.

Just look at the impact Daniel Arzani had in the build up to the FIFA World Cup™ - should another starlet emerge, such as John Iredale or Denis Genreau, the Caltex Socceroos could end up planting the seeds of a future star against Kuwait.

Robbie Kruse
Robbie Kruse is swamped by Kuwait defenders in 2015.

Who will press their claim for a starting berth?

Arnold's era has brought a blank slate to the national set up and there are several question marks lingering over personnel and formation.

With skipper Mile Jedinak listed as a defender in Antalya and playing in central defence for the majority of Aston Villa’s season, is there a vacant midfield slot to be claimed?

Another area that has courted intrigue lies further up the field, where the role of Caltex Socceroos lead forward is up for grabs.

The Caltex Socceroos have scored their last five competitive international goals from Mile Jedinak set pieces, and Arnold’s candid admission that Australia must reinvent the front-line should come to the fore in Kuwait City.

Who will stand up to replace the goals of Tim Cahill?

Arnie to stamp his mark

The importance of the Kuwait clash extends to the style and identity of the Caltex Socceroos under Arnold.

The Caltex Socceroos boss admitted last week that the side placed priority on their rotations and attacking intent throughout Antalya.

In this regard, the Kuwait match will show the team putting Arnold’s ideals into practice, and the combinations and patterns that emerge could leave a lasting impression.