Caltex Socceroos attacker Robbie Kruse believes Japan will be “scared” of coming up against Aussie legend Tim Cahill in Tuesday night’s FIFA World Cup qualifier in Melbourne.
Cahill famously broke Japanese hearts with his two goals off the bench at the 2006 FIFA World Cup and has been a constant nemesis ever sicnee against the Samurai Blue.
The last time the Caltex Socceroos played Japan in a qualifier in Melbourne it was another Cahill brace that secured the green and gold a come-from-behind 2-1 win.
With that in mind, Kruse expects Japan to get jittery when the 36-year-old is on the pitch at Docklands on Tuesday night.
“He’s [Cahill] got a good record and good history against Japan and they’re probably fearful of him,” Kruse told reporters on Sunday.
“Every team in the world would be scared of Timmy. Regardless of his age or how fit he is at the moment; if you get a good delivery into the box he’ll win the ball nine times out of 10.
“Whether he starts or comes off the bench, he’ll have an impact. He brings a calmness to the rest of the group as well. His goal-to-game ratio is up there with the best in the world.
“Anytime he’s on the field for our team, every individual player gets a lift and he has that aura about him where you think he can score off every play.”
It remains to be seen if coach Ange Postecoglou will unleash Cahill from the start against Japan, after using him for only a 10-minute cameo against Saudi Arabia last week.
Cahill has started just one competitive match in the last few months, Melbourne City’s Westfield FFA Cup quarter-final win over Western Sydney Wanderers in September.
Team selection aside, Kruse is predicting a stern test against Australia’s traditional rivals in what is becoming an extremely tight group.
The Caltex Socceroos are currently tied at the top of the standings on seven points with Saudi Arabia, with Japan and the UAE both a point further back on six.
When are your Caltex Socceroos in action this weekend?
Two Caltex Socceroos stars are set to go head-to-head in Scotland, while there is another pressure-filled 90 minutes ahead for Maty Ryan's relegation-threatened Brighton & Hove Albion. Trent Sainsbury and Aziz Behich’s PSV continue to push for the title in the Netherlands, whi
Former Socceroo Matt McKay to retire at season's end
Brisbane Roar skipper and 59-time Caltex Socceroo Matt McKay has decided the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season will be his last, bringing to an end his 18-year professional journey. McKay confirmed his retirement on Thursday, bringing down the curtain on a glittering career for
Aussies Abroad: Ryan’s Brighton in danger of relegation after Cardiff defeat
Maty Ryan’s Brighton & Hove Albion are perilously close to the relegation zone in the English Premier League after slumping to a 2-0 defeat at home against Cardiff City on Wednesday morning (AEST). There was little the Caltex Socceroos gloveman could do to keep out a goal in e