Oman coach Paul Le Guen says Australia deserve to be favourites for next year's Asian Cup but has warned the pressure of hosting the tournament is not easy.
Oman coach Paul Le Guen says Australia deserve to be favourites for next year's AFC Asian Cup but has warned the pressure of hosting the tournament is not easy.
The Socceroos were drawn in a difficult looking group that includes South Korea, Kuwait and Le Guen's Oman side.
The Omanis played the Socceroos in the recent qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup and managed to secure credible draws both at home and in Sydney last March.
"They are obviously favourites, they host the competition and the crowd will be behind them...we will be the outsiders," Le Guen said after the draw at the Sydney Opera House on Wednesday night.
"They will be favourites but we will try to bother them like we did (in the 2-2 draw in Sydney last year).
"I think Australia deserves to be favourites of the group and the competition but I also know it's not easy to host a competition like this.
"You have a bit more pressure than usual and you are not used to that. But they have the experienced players so for me they are favourite for the group and competition."
While excited by the progress of his young side, Le Guen concedes the Omanis have been drawn in the 'group of death'.
"It's the toughest group of the tournament and it will be very difficult for us," he admitted.
"We are a little bit unlucky but I will keep smiling. You have to accept it. I think it's a privilege to play against Australia here.”
The Socceroos will face Kuwait in the opening match of the AFC Asian Cup 2015 on 9 January in Melbourne, followed by Oman on 13 January in Sydney with their final group match against Korea Republic on 17 January in Brisbane.
"The atmosphere will be unbelievable. We will play in great stadiums. We have to be better than we were (last time we played Australia) or we want create a surprise and that's what we want to do."
Join the conversation on Twitter at #AC2015.
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