The Socceroos aren’t focussing on the farcical situation of being unable to train on the stadium surface in Curitiba 24 hours before Australia face reigning world champions Spain in their final Group B clash of the World Cup.
In a bizarre turn of events, the stadium surface at the Arena da Baixada was deemed off limits to both nations.
The surface was covered on one side with large heat lamps used to encourage grass to grow.
Given the amount of time the organisers had to prepare the stadium and surface, it’s no doubt disappointing for both camps and local organisers.
With Spain and Australia expecting a customary session on the playing surface, the two nations were forced to train at the nearby Estadio Couto Pereira.
"Ideally we would like to train on the pitch today but we just have to get on with it,” Socceroo skipper Mile Jedinak said at the official pre-match press conference.
“From our perspective we understand but it’s not ideal,” added coach Ange Postecoglou.
In good news, Mark Bresciano and Mark Milligan are set to train today though both are facing an uphill battle with injury concerns and are not expected to start against the Spaniards.
“We’ll see how they go. We’ll give them every opportunity but probably unlikely for both,” said Postecoglou.
The starting line-up is likely to feature a new face or two with expectations that Oliver Bozanic and perhaps Adam Taggart will start in place of the suspended Tim Cahill and Bresciano. Matt McKay may hold onto his spot alongside Mile Jedinak in the holding role after a solid performance against Holland.
“We just need to concentrate for the entire 90 minutes if we want to improve on our previous performances,” said Jedinak.
“We need guys to stand up and be counted.”
Asked about the differences between the World Cup and playing in one of the biggest leagues in the world the English Premier League and the Aussie skipper had this to say.
“It is hard to compare… they are different challenges. In three games here it's a season rolled into one.”
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