While the Socceroos have begun arriving in Melbourne ahead of the Asian Cup, their opponents in the tournament opener, Kuwait, have commenced their own training camp in Canberra.
The Kuwaitis have based themselves at the Australian Institute of Sport ahead of their clash with the Socceroos on January 9 at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.
The current world No.124 beat Australia on home soil when they claimed a 1-0 win in the nation's capital in an Asian Cup qualifier.
Although the match was some five years ago and against a Socceroos side missing many of their stars, Kuwait were able to back up the performance by claiming a draw on home soil in the return leg the following year.
Kuwait midfielder Aziz Mashaan is under no illusions the task ahead is a different proposition to 2009 but is confident his country will prove to be a worthy opponent.
"It's totally different to the last match and the Australian team is much stronger than before," he told Fairfax Media.
"Everyone knows we played twice with the Australian team and they never beat us, but I think the pressure will be more on them because it's the opening match and the fans will be behind them.
"We'll have nothing to lose in the opening match and we'll do all the best to get a result."
Coach Nabil Maaloul will keep his side in Canberra until New Year's Eve before flying to the Gold Coast for a friendly match against the UAE on January 3.
In other Group A news, Paul Le Guen has finalised his 23-man Omani squad for January's tournament, which will also be based at the AIS.
The side will no doubt rely on the exploits of former Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi and will also be full of confidence having gone unbeaten in their last three matches at the Gulf Cup of Nations.
Meanwhile Korea Republic coach Uli Stielike has also commenced preparations with his squad ahead of their opening match against the Omanis.
The world No.69 will be making a record-equalling 13th appearance at the Asian Cup and will be looking to improve on their third place finish in 2011.
The South Koreans have not lifted the trophy since going back-to-back in the first two editions of the tournament in 1956 and 1960.
They will play Saudi Arabia in a pre-tournament hit-out on January 4 at Parramatta Stadium.
2015 AFC Asian Cup Australia Group A Match Schedule
9 January 2015, 7:30pm AEDT, Australia v Kuwait, Melbourne Rectangular Stadium
10 January 2015, 4:00pm AEDT, Korea Republic v Oman, Canberra Stadium
13 January 2015, 6:00pm AEDT, Kuwait v Korea Republic, Canberra Stadium
13 January 2015, 8:00pm AEDT, Oman v Australia, Stadium Australia
17 January 2015, 8.00pm AEDT, Australia v Korea Republic, Brisbane Stadium
17 January 2015, 8.00pm AEDT, Oman v Kuwait, Newcastle Stadium
Make sure you get your family and friends together and RISE with the Socceroos! Tickets are available by clicking here www.socceroos.com.au/tickets
Join us on our journey throughout the AFC Asian Cup 2015 in January by downloading the Official Socceroos app! Download the app through the App Store or Google Play store, or CLICK HERE
Refreshed Ryan ready for big year with club and country
Mat Ryan says an off-season trip home to Australia with family and friends has him primed for a big year ahead for Brighton and the Caltex Socceroos. The 27-year-old shot-stopper has rarely had an off-season break in recent years as he mixes Premier League football with his co
‘That sums up their passion’: Caltex Socceroos skipper witnesses awesome Matildas moment
Socceroos captain Mark Milligan and coach Graham Arnold were among the ecstatic Australian support watching the Matildas’ stunning comeback victory over Brazil on Friday morning (AEST). The Matildas recorded one of the most remarkable results in FIFA Women’s World Cup history
Caltex Socceroos to participate in Copa America 2020
Football Federation Australia (FFA) today confirmed it had accepted an invitation from the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) for the Caltex Socceroos to participate in the Copa America next year. FFA Chairman Chris Nikou said this was a huge opportunity for Aust
Ryan aiming to break 39-year Brighton curse on Premier League opening weekend
Caltex Socceroos custodian Mathew Ryan has learned who he’ll face in the Brighton and Hove Albion goal on the opening weekend of the Premier League 2019/20 season in August. A trip to Vicarage Road to face 2019 FA Cup Finalists Watford on August 10 is the first league assignme