Match preview: Socceroos v Jordan
The Socceroos' AFC Asian Cup campaign begins with an enthralling Group B contest against Jordan this Sunday evening (10.00pm kick-off AEDT).
Graham Arnold's side take on the Middle East nation aiming to issue a statement of intent.
It's a great chance for Australia to hit the ground running in the United Arab Emirates.
The reigning champions enter the match with three wins from their past four hit-outs, including a 5-0 victory against Oman last weekend, and should be full of confidence.
In those games Arnold's men have tallied 13 goals and conceded just one.
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Where and when
Date: Sunday, January 6 2019
Venue: Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain
Kick off: 10.00pm (AEDT)
Socceroos squad news
Martin Boyle has joined Aaron Mooy in being forced to withdraw from the original 23-man squad following the knee injury he sustained during last weekend's friendly win over Oman.
Apostolos Giannou has replaced the Hibernian winger in the UAE and will now challenge for the central striking spot in Arnold's exciting attacking setup.
Jimmy Jeggo came in for Mooy in midfield and there are several strong selection options in that department, with Mustafa Amini and Mark Milligan most recently getting the nod.
Meanwhile, Mathew Leckie's fitness is being closely monitored by the medical team after he picked up an injury on club duty in December.
Current AFC rankings
Jordan, under the guidance of former Belgium assistant Vital Borkelmans, will hope to provide an early examination of Australia's silverware credentials.
The losses of Mooy and Boyle to injury are far from ideal but results under Arnold have been strong and the new boss is confident the depth exists to overcome adversity.
With an experienced core, including the likes of Mat Ryan, Trent Sainsbury and captain Milligan ready to provide the platform from which to shine, there is reason to believe this Australia side still very much possesses the tools to realise their ambitions in the UAE.
It all starts now.
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