Caltex Socceroos training session in Melbourne

At Sunday's Socceroos training session in Melbourne, John Greco reports on how the squad is looking two days before their big World Cup qualifier with Japan at Docklands.

Caltex Socceroos opposition dossier: Japan

Socceroos v Japan: great moments in the rivalry

Caltex Socceroo captain Mile Jedinak is expected to line-up against Japan in Tuesday night’s FIFA World Cup qualifier in Melbourne despite being the only player to miss Sunday’s field session.

While all other 22 players took part in what was a light, 35-minute workout on the Lakeside Stadium pitch at South Melbourne, Jedinak went to work in at a nearby pool with team doctor Craig Duncan.

After getting through a gruelling 90 minutes in the heat of Jeddah on Friday (AEDT) coach Ange Postecoglou wanted to ease the load on his skipper and decided to give him a recovery session in the pool.

But it’s understood the 32-year-old is not carrying an injury and will be right to lead out the Green and Gold against the Samurai Blue at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.

In front of hundreds of fans on a windy and cool day in Melbourne, the Caltex Socceroos weren’t pushed too hard by the coaching staff after only arriving late on Saturday night.

While the goalkeepers worked away with keeping coach Tony Franken, the rest of the squad were involved in a session mostly based on recovery.

After 15 minutes of stretching and a couple of laps around the pitch for a warm-up, it was into a simple passing drill, moving from one side to the other and following their pass.

They then split into two separate groups for a possession-based game with three defenders trying to dispossess eight attackers.

All of this was done at a much lesser intensity than normally seen in a Postecoglou session, but it’s all designed to ensuring the squad is recovered and peaking in time for Tuesday night.

After a little over 30 minutes it was all over, with the players stretching and warming down before signing autographs and posing for photos for the supporters who turned out for the fan day.