Soul Mates Hoping For Starts On Saturday Night

Soul mates Marco Bresciano and Vince Grella do most things together and on Saturday evening in Montevideo that will hopefully include playing for Australia against Uruguay in the World Cup play-off first leg match.

Soul mates Marco Bresciano and Vince Grella (pictured right) do most things together and on Saturday evening in Montevideo that will hopefully include playing for Australia against Uruguay in the World Cup play-off first leg match.

Since growing up in Melbourne, the pair have almost been inseparable, playing at the same clubs for most of their professional careers, including current club Parma in the Italian Serie A.

Ironically both are also under injury clouds, with Bresciano still unable to train after twisting his ankle in Parma-s 2-0 win over Lecce last Sunday, while Grella limped off the training ground after copping a knock yesterday.

Both are expected to be okay, with Bresciano causing most concern.

However if both do not overcome their injuries, they would be huge losses to Guus Hiddink, given their experience of the pressure-cooker atmosphere of the Italian Serie A and in particular, the experience they have gained playing against the likes of key Uruguayan playmaker Alvaro Recoba.

Recoba, as he was four years ago, is likely to be the lynchpin for Uruguay and nobody in the Australian side will know him better than Grella, who has directly opposed him, first with Empoli and now with Parma.

“I have played against for the past four years now at club level and is a very unpredictable player,” Grella told the media in Buenos Aires.

“He has played at this level for so long and is a very experienced player and I think he is one of their important players, but they have others as well.”

Grella is one of the contenders for the key role of holding midfielder, sitting in front of the defenders, winning turnover ball and trying to eliminate the effectiveness of the opposition-s key attacking midfielder, which usually falls to Recoba in this Uruguay side.

“I don-t know, you will have to ask the coaching staff that question,” Grella responded, when asked whether he thought he was a good chance of starting on Saturday night.

“I have been lucky that in the last month or maybe even a little bit more, I have been playing on a regular basis and have been playing reasonably well at club level.

“I am in good physical condition and basically that is all I can do in preparing for these games.”

Grella-s Parma team mate however, was forced to train away from the rest of the 15 players that have assembled in camp. He remains optimistic of playing a role on Saturday night, but in all likelihood will need to train tomorrow with the squad to have any chance.   "It's not bad,” Bresciano said. “I copped a tackle on the weekend and twisted it. Hopefully I should be back (in training) in the next couple of days, hopefully tomorrow (Wednesday) night."

Bresciano had featured regularly under Frank Farina, but in Hiddink-s first game in charge against the Solomon Islands, the attacking midfielder was surprisingly dropped.   However earning a recall for the Jamaica game, Bresciano scored a stunning goal after just two minutes and played well to again highlight his importance in the middle of the park to the Australian side.   He believes the team is much better prepared for the visit to Montevideo this time around and that there will be no excuses if they don-t come away with a reasonable result to take back to Sydney.   "I think we are much more confident as a team, the preparation is much better, and this time we have no excuses," Bresciano said.

"We-ve had the best preparation possible, from players and coaching staff, everyone's put in their hundred percent."

Four years ago, he was one of the young players that travelled to Montevideo and experienced the chaos at the airport upon arrival in the Uruguayan capital.   "It all comes down to experience. If you experience something, you'll know what to expect, what's going to happen and how to prepare yourself."