The Socceroos face one of their most important World Cup qualifiers in some time when they host Oman at ANZ Stadium on Tuesday night.
Head-to-head Played: 6 - Wins: Australia 3, Oman 1, draws 2.
Previous Meeting: Oman 0-0 Australia, AFC World Cup qualifier, June 8, 2012
Past five matches: Australia Romania 3-2 Australia, International Friendly, February 7, 2013 Australia 8-0 Chinese Taipei, East Asian Qualifiers, December 9, 2012 Australia 9-0 Guam, East Asian Qualifiers, December 7, 2012 Korea DPR 1-1 Australia, East Asian Qualifiers, December 5, 2012 Hong Kong 0-1 Australia, East Asian Qualifiers, December 3, 2012
Oman Oman 3-0 Haiti, International Friendly, March 20, 2013 Oman 1-0 China, Asian Cup Qualifier, February 7, 2013 Oman 1-0 Syria, International Friendly, January 31, 2013 UAE 2-0 Oman, Gulf Cup, January 12, 2013 Qatar 2-1 Oman, Gulf Cup, January 9, 2013
Analysis The Qantas Socceroos face one of their most important World Cup qualifiers in some time when they host Oman at ANZ Stadium on Tuesday night.
With four nations still in contention for the second automatic qualifying spot from the group, victory in Sydney will go a long way towards either country booking their ticket to Brazil.
Australia, level on points with both Oman and Iraq - with Jordon one further back - would appear in the box seat as they have a game in hand and three of their last four matches on home soil.
But coach Holger Osieck is taking nothing for granted and says nothing but victory will do in this clash.
And it's why there is expected to be little surprise when he reveals his starting XI just before kick-off.
While skipper Lucas Neill and midfielder Carl Valeri are unavailable due to suspension, Osieck has been able to select most of his first choice players.
The biggest conundrum for the German will come in central defence, where the likes of Rhys Williams, Michael Thwaite, Robbie Cornthwaite, Mark Milligan and Jade North all contenders for the positions.
Alex Brosque and Tim Cahill are expected to lead the attack while Mark Bresciano and James Holland are fighting to partner Mile Jedinak in central midfield.
"I'm now in a position that I have to admit I really haven't been in before in that I will really have some headaches but positive ones," Osieck said of team selection.
"There is a great deal on offer now in terms of players.
"There's decent quality and players that have made tremendous progress in the last couple of months.
"In recent games at times I have had the problem to really find a good number of players ready for selection but this time the quantity is there and within that quantity I have a lot more quality."
While the Socceroos' last clash ended in a 3-2 friendly defeat to Romania, they will start heavy favourites in this clash and have recorded two big wins in their last two clashes with Oman in Australia.
Oman's two most well-known and important players remain goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi and striker Imad Al Hosni.
But the classy Fawzi Bashir is no longer around having announced his retirement from international football after he wasn't selected in the squad for this qualifier.
Manager Paul Le Guen is in the middle of regenerating the Omani side, meaning the bulk of the travelling party on this occasion is made up of the side that won the under-23 Gold Cup two years ago.
"We have to accept that some (players) are on the verge of finishing with the national team, so we have to refresh," Le Guen said.
Attacker Eid Al-Farsi is one player Australia must keep an eye on while striker Abdullaziz Al Miqbali scored a hat-trick in their most recent match, a 3-0 friendly win over Haiti.
The Socceroos have met Oman on six previous occasions, winning three of those with just the one defeat.
Their previous meeting was in the first round of this qualifying stage, with the two sides playing out a goal-less draw at a sweltering Muscat in June last year.
Disappointment for Vukovic in Belgium Cup final
Caltex Socceroos gloveman Danny Vukovic has suffered heartbreak in the Belgium Cup final, going down 1-0 after extra-time against Standard Liege. In a tense and cagey final, both sides struggled to create chances as scores were locked at 0-0 after 90 minutes. But Liege stru
Aussies Abroad: Kruse stars again in Germany
Robbie Kruse will head into Caltex Socceroos camp in confident mood this week after continuing his impressive form with 2.Bundesliga outfit VFL Bochum overnight. The former Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory flyer had an assist as Bochum came from two goals down to beat Sandh
Mooy’s Huddersfield slump to EPL defeat against Palace
Caltex Socceroos playmaker Aaron Mooy could do nothing to inspire Huddersfield Town in the Premier League overnight, going down 2-0 to relegation rivals Crystal Palace. In his second match back from a knee injury, Mooy got through the full 90 minutes for David Wagner’s men at
Championship wrap: Luongo scores in QPR’s impressive comeback
Caltex Socceroos midfielder Massimo Luongo scored a classy goal as QPR came-from-behind to snatch a 2-2 draw against promotion candidates Fulham in the English Championship overnight. Fulham, unbeaten in their last 15 matches, led 2-0 heading into first-half stoppage-time befo