Preview: Caltex Socceroos v Jordan

Group B's final game and it's a blockbuster. The prize for the winner is top spot and automatic progression to the next phase of FIFA World Cup qualification.



The qualification scenario is thus: winners of the eight AFC groups progress along with the four best runners-up.

Jordan are in second on 16 points while leading Group B are the Caltex Socceroos on 18 points. 

Who'll start for the Caltex Socceroos versus Jordan?

Put simply: both sides are desperate to win - though a draw will see Australia progress.

Aside from that, revenge is very much on the Green and Gold's mind. 

In the reverse fixture last October in front of a raucous, deafening Jordanian crowd, the home side taught a young and relatively inexperienced Aussie team a lesson in a 2-0 win in Amman.

Oh, and did we mention Harry Redknapp? 

Jordan manager Harry Redknapp

The former Spurs, QPR and Portsmouth favourite is now coaching the Jordanians at the request of president of the Jordan FA, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein.

‘Arry’s in charge for the final two group games. He's started with an easy win on Thursday but the toughest challenge awaits Tuesday night. 

He'll be a national hero if he can help Al Nashama progress as group winners (or as one of the four best second placed nations). 

Put it all together and it adds up to one heck of a night at Allianz, and a thrilling climax to this stage of FIFA Russia World Cup 2018™ qualifying.

Confidence won’t be a problem for either nation after massive wins in their respective matches last Thursday night.

Just hours after the Socceroos rolled Tajikistan 7-0 in Adelaide, Jordan went one better putting eight unanswered goals past lowly Bangladesh.

Socceroos v Jordan XI gallery.

You can be sure things will be much tighter in this one (though last time Jordan played in Australia, they were easily beaten 4-0 in FIFA World Cup qualifying back in 2013). 

For Australia, they’ll look to continue where they left off against the Tajiks.

The passing was slick, the movement superb while the defensive pressure and pressing suffocated their opponents - albeit very weak opponents.

Superstar Tim Cahill didn’t play any minutes at Adelaide Oval and you get the feeling that decision was with one eye on this clash, with Australia’s greatest-ever scorer likely to take the place of debutant Apostolos Giannou up front.

The brilliant Tom Rogic from Celtic – who scored twice off the bench in Adelaide - could start though there's doubt over captain and holding midfielder Mile Jedinak, which would be a big blow in such a big game.

Jedinak scare as Caltex Socceroos train in Sydney

Tom Rogic celebrates with teammates after scoring against Tajikistan.

Redknapp, who despite talking up all-out attack in the build-up, is likely to sit deep and try and hit the home side on the counter attack.

If Jordan can stay compact and disciplined, disrupt the flow against an Aussie team that will press relentlessly and force errors, they may have a chance.

It’s a tactic that worked so well in Amman last year, with speedy striker Hamza Al-Dardour causing the Aussie defence all sorts of problems as they exposed Australia's formation that featured only one holding midfielder. 

Hamza scored a first-half hat-trick against the Bengal Tigers on Thursday and will again be key if Jordan is to pull off a shock here.

Hamza Al Dardour celebrates a goal against Palestine at January's Asian Cup.

He’s not the only threat with Abdallah Deeb and Baha Faisal also ones to watch while keeper and captain Amer Shafi is a big presence. 

While Jordan won the last clash between these two, that was in a hostile environment at the King Abdullah International Stadium.

It will be a much different scenario on Tuesday with a sea of green and gold on hand to will the Socceroos to take another huge step on the road to Russia 2018.

It's not quite Uruguay 2005. But what a fascinating game in prospect.