Playmaker James Troisi has flagged the possibility of mass changes for Tuesday night’s second leg against Syria and believes Caltex Socceroos’ imposing home record will make the difference.
The Australian squad will hit the training pitch for the first time on Sunday afternoon after spending the last two days focusing on recovery at their base at Sydney Olympic Park.
The stifling conditions and heavy pitch in Malaysia means coach Ange Postecoglou is likely to ring the changes to freshen up his side so they can play their up-tempo style in the second leg.
The tie is delicately poised following a 1-1 draw in the first leg.
Troisi was one of Australia’s attacking threats to be kept on ice in Malaysia and could be unleashed on the Syrians from the start on Tuesday night.
“At the start of camp Ange [Postecoglou] said he wants to make quite a lot of changes,” Troisi told reporters on Sunday.
“Obviously it was extremely tough conditions the other night. We’ve had a good quick turnaround and got back to Australia pretty early.
“The boys are feeling good but obviously the likes of myself are feeling pretty good. It’s up to the boss to choose what he feels best but personally, and a few of the other boys as well, we’re ready to go.
“We all know what our role is by now,” the Melbourne Victory man added.
“It’s just being ready. If you get 90 minutes or nine minutes, everyone has to be ready and if I get my chance I’ll play my part.”
Troisi scored one of the most important goals in Australian football history at Tuesday night’s venue, the winner in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup final against South Korea.
He admits he still gets “goosebumps” reliving that night but hopes the side can create new memories there, starting with Tuesday night.
“That [2015 Asian Cup final] was a while ago now and we just need to focus on what’s at hand on Tuesday night.
“We have good memories here but to be honest anywhere we play in Australia is a massive advantage for us.
“We’ve heard the pitch is really good as well, we’re hoping to get a massive turnout which will make a difference as well.
“The boys are quietly confident…they [Syria] will make it tough for us but we know if we do the right things we’ll be ok.
“The main hurdles you have to overcome are the conditions playing in countries like Malaysia and the Middle East, but it’s beautiful here, the pitch is nice, we’re at home so we’re confident.”
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