There is plenty to ponder for both Vicente Del Bosque and Ange Postecoglou ahead of their final game at the World Cup in Curitiba on Tuesday morning AEST.
1. Goalkeepers in the spotlight
Will Vicente Del Bosque persist with captain and stalwart Iker Casillas? The Real Madrid goalkeeper by his own admission let La Roja down in the 5-1 loss to the Netherlands, although his defenders ought to shoulder plenty of the blame there too. He didn't cover himself in glory against Chile either. But while the clamour to drop him continues to grow, what purpose would humiliating a great servant of club and country serve in a dead rubber against Australia?
At the other end, Mat Ryan hasn't had an opportunity to perform the heroics that earned him the number one shirt for the Socceroos. The Club Brugge custodian, tenuously linked with Casillas' Madrid ahead of the tournament, might feel he could have done better for Memphis Depay's winning goal in Australia's 3-2 loss to the Netherlands and will be determined to make his mark against Spain. Or will Ange Postecoglou opt to give Borussia Dortmund's Mitch Langerak, Ryan's number two in Brazil, a taste of the World Cup?
2. Who will replace Tim Cahill?
With Australia's goal-scoring talisman suspended, the obvious solution appears to be moving Mathew Leckie to the centre and bringing in Ben Halloran (or Dario Vidosic) to start on the right. Leckie's pace and physicality have worried both Chile and the Dutch, meaning he could be capable of terrorising a shaky Spanish backline.
By the same token, Adam Taggart's pace and poacher's instinct could also be of interest against Sergio Ramos and Javi Martinez/Gerard Pique. But the diminutive Jets man is more likely to be kept in reserve as an impact player off the bench.
3. Matt McKay to keep his place?
Mark Milligan is reportedly set to be fit after overcoming the hamstring strain that kept him out of the Netherlands game. However, his replacement, Brisbane Roar's McKay, will surely retain his spot in the starting XI after excelling in the Porto Alegre thriller. The A-League championship winner linked up well with holding midfield colleague Mile Jedinak, shielded the back four and recycled possession when required but also got forward to good effect, almost setting up a goal for the Socceroos. It would be harsh indeed to relegate him to the bench.
4. Will Diego Costa get the chop?
The Brazilian-born striker, a naturalised Spanish citizen, has been a huge disappointment playing for La Roja in the country of his birth. Carrying a hamstring problem into the tournament, the Atletico Madrid man has been anonymous up front and appears set to pose far less of a threat to Alex Wilkinson and Matthew Spiranovic than Robin van Persie and Alexis Sanchez did. Even if Del Bosque axes him in favour of Fernando Torres and David Villa, the Socceroo centre-backs appear to have their best chance of keeping the opposition forwards quiet.
5. Is Mark Bresciano fit to play?
Nursing a flare up of a long-term back problem going into the tournament, Bresciano managed 78 influential minutes against Chile but only 50 in the Netherlands game. Oliver Bozanic was a revelation off the bench in his place, keeping the ball, winning it back and demonstrating a football intelligence that belied his lack of international experience. Postecoglou could be tempted to start the Luzern man in a match with nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Have you signed up to receive Socceroos Insider – Daily?
Sign up now to receive our daily newsletter, delivered at 12pm AEST each day, featuring all the best news and videos direct from camp in Vitoria Brazil.
For exclusive Socceroo videos from inside the camp in Brazil, head to http://www.socceroos.com.au/videos
And don't forget to get social with the Socceroos
Mark Milligan's moving tribute to Caltex Socceroos debutants
Awer Mabil and Thomas Deng were South Sudanese refugees over a decade ago. Earlier this morning they became Caltex Socceroos. It was an incredible milestone for the two childhood friends, who grew up in Adelaide bonding over the love of football. WRAP: Caltex Socceroos o
Focus shifts to home games in November after Kuwait win
With the first test passed with flying colours, Graham Arnold’s Caltex Socceroos will swiftly turn their focus to November’s home friendlies against Korea Republic and Lebanon. Arnold’s tenure got off to a dream start on Tuesday morning (AEDT) with his side strolling to a 4-0
‘It’s a big dream come true’: Mabil, Deng proud to make Caltex Socceroos debuts
Almost a decade ago they were young kids kicking a ball together at the local park, dreaming of playing professional football. Fast forward nine years and good mates Awer Mabil and Thomas Deng made their Caltex Socceroos debuts together in a thumping 4-0 win over Kuwait.
Arnie’s Caltex Socceroos take shape as attacking stars shine
The Graham Arnold era has gotten off to a flying start, less than three months out from the opening game of the Caltex Socceroos’ AFC Asian Cup title defence. Apostolos Giannou, Tom Rogic, debutant Awer Mabil and an own goal were the difference as Australia cruised to a 4-0 wi