As they train in Dubai, Socceroo defender Matthew Spiranovic has given an insight into the scouting of Australia's first World Cup qualifying opponents, the somewhat mysterious Kyrgyzstan.
The Australians begin their Road to Russia 2018 against the little-known nation, currently ranked 177th in FIFA’s world rankings, next week in Bishkek.
While Ange Postecoglou’s troops should have too much quality for their hosts, there is always a danger when you don’t know too much about your opposition.
“The coaching staff have been doing their homework for this game for many months,” Spiranovic told FFA TV.
“They summarise all that into a small package so the players can take on that information.
“We’ll sit down and have a few meetings and watch a few videos so going into the game we’ll definitely feel comfortable what to expect.
“Like previous World Cup qualifying campaigns, you go into a few games as sort of the unknown. Kyrgyzstan is certainly one of those teams.
“A lot of us players haven’t seen them play. That’s why it’s important that we’re here [in Dubai} a week before the game where we can work on a lot of things and the coaching staff can give us the information going into the game.”
The Socceroos have just started a week-long training camp in Dubai, where they will tune-up for the clash with sessions in 40 degree heat.
It’s crucial preparation for someone like Spiranovic, who hasn’t played for over a month since the Western Sydney Wanderers pulled down their curtain on their Hyundai A-League campaign.
Asked if there was a risk he could be underdone heading into the clash in Bishkek, Spiranovic said: “It’s not a concern at all.
“I’ve come in off the back of a long season, I pretty much didn’t stop since the World Cup last year.
“It was great to have that time to refresh and allow the body to recover a little bit as well as balancing it off with a bit of training and a tough program we have here.
“Coming together as a squad here is vital heading into that game.”
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