Socceroos to embrace tika-taka test

Ante Milicic says the Socceroos will be looking to follow the lead of the Netherlands and Chile as they attempt to finish off Spain's nightmare World Cup.

Australia's clash with the 2010 champions was marked down as potentially the hardest of three tough Group B games when the draw for the tournament was made last year.

The possession-orientated 'tika-taka' approach that took La Roja to World Cup glory in South Africa and successive European Championship crowns has imploded in Brazil though, with a 5-1 humiliation at the hands of the Dutch followed by a 2-0 defeat to Chile, eliminating the competition's holders at the group stage.

Now Vicente Del Bosque's demoralised troops must face an Australian side buoyed by their impressive performances in narrow defeats to the same two opponents, as the Socceroos look to cap off their campaign with what would be a sensational upset over La Roja.

While Milicic believes there is still plenty of merit to Spain's trademark style of play, that won't stop Ange Postecoglou's backroom staff from attempting to ruthlessly capitalise on the same weaknesses exposed by Louis van Gaal and Jorge Sampaoli. 

"It's a difficult style to play against but at the same time teams have countered that and we'll be looking at ways where we can exploit that as well," Milicic told Goal Australia.

"There's no denying what they've done, both as the Spanish national team and as club teams and the individual players around Europe at the moment.

"You look at their squad of 30 and you see how strong it is. It's all about a learning experience for us, as coaches, as players, as a country - as a footballing nation. 

"(It's) a big challenge to ... to see where we are. 

"We know it's going to be difficult but that's the only way you can judge and see how you're going with your progress."

The game will be billed in some quarters as a dead rubber, with neither side able to rescue their hopes of progression at the 2014 event.

But Milicic and the rest of the Socceroos camp are still looking forward to locking horns with a national team that will rightly be considered the best of their generation, despite their spectacular demise this month.

"It's a great occasion and we should embrace that," he said.

"We're fortunate to be given a chance ... they're games that you should look forward to. You want to do that when you go to a World Cup, regardless if you're playing the so-called favourites or the teams that probably aren't as highly fancied. 

"Everyone going to the World Cup is there on merit, it's a tough game regardless.

"It's one we're looking forward to."

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