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.
New dawn, new goal-scoring style says Arnold
Australia coach Graham Arnold has declared his Caltex Socceroos side will look to develop a new style in order to score more goals ahead of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. It’s something of a new dawn for international football in Australia, with the FIFA World Cup™ in the rear-view m
Caltex Socceroos to face Korea Republic in Brisbane in November
Football Federation Australia (FFA), the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council today announced that the Caltex Socceroos will host Korea Republic in an international friendly match at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday, 17 November 2018. FFA CEO David Gallop was
How to get your tickets to see the Caltex Socceroos' play Korea Republic
Don’t miss your first chance to see Graham Arnold’s new look Caltex Socceroos live in action in Australia. Australia head to Brisbane for the first time since 2015 to take on Asian football powerhouse Korea Republic. ANNOUNCEMENT: A new era rises in Graham Arnold's first ma
A long standing rivalry: Caltex Socceroos’ history against Korea Republic
The Caltex Socceroos are set to fine-tune their preparations for their AFC Asian Cup title defence next year with a high-profile friendly against the Korea Republic in Brisbane. These two nations have forged quite a rivalry over the years – who could forget their last meeting