Oman coach Paul Le Guen is an admirer of Ange Postecoglou’s Socceroos revolution but insists his side will their best to try and “bother” Australia on Tuesday night.
After losing their group opener against Korea Republic on the weekend, nothing but a win will do for Oman if they are to keep their hopes of progression alive.
While they are outsiders to do just that, they do at least have recent experience and an encouraging recent record against the Socceroos.
“It’s always a pleasure to come here, I’ve come two times before and I know that it’s difficult but it’s great also,” Le Guen said on Monday.
“We will try to build something to bother them.
“I know they have a very good team, for me they are one of the favourites. They are supposed to play the semi-final, the final or why not win the competition?
“They have refreshed the team. I like their way of playing but I will fight to try and get a result against them.”
Le Guen says the absence of skipper Mile Jedinak is not a “big blow for the Socceroos, with plenty of strong players to fill the breach.
Tim Cahill is stepping into the role of captain in Jedinak’s absence and the veteran striker has proved a thorn in Oman’s side in the past.
“Tim is a class player. It’s great to see him in this competition. He’s 35 now but he’s kept himself really fit and it’s always a pleasure to play against him,” Oman skipper and goal-keeper Ali Al Habsi said.
“Whether it was (in the EPL) or with the national team, he’s always scoring against me,” he said with a smile.
“We’ve played a lot of games with the national team and I know how classy he is, especially with the head, how he jumps and how strong he is and how confident he is in the box.
“For me he’s one of the best strikers I’ve played against in the world. He always makes problems in the box.”
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