Oman – Australia Preview
By staff - Thu Jun 07, 6:07 am
Suhail, Al Maslami, Al Sheiba, Salam
Al Jabri, Mubarak, El Farsi, Ibrahim
North, Neill, Ognenovski, Spiranovic
Wilkshire, Valeri, Bresciano, McKay
There’s some positive news for Oman coach Paul Le Guen, who will have midfielders Juma Darwish and Eid Al Farsi available after suspension, while defender Mohammed Al Sheiba, who missed the 3-0 loss to Japan due to injury, should be fit. However Oman are likely to be without winger Ahmed Hadid who is injured and has been training separately from the main group. Veteran Fawzi Bashir is unavailable due to suspension too. Oman are already without regulars Hasan Mudhafar (abdomen) and Hassan Rabea (ankle).
The Socceroos arrived in Muscat on Monday after Saturday’s 2-0 friendly loss to Denmark in Copenhagen. However, key attacker Brett Holman hasn’t joined up with the squad and will miss the game, after his partner gave birth to their second child. Joshua Kennedy and Carl Valeri have linked up with the camp after club commitments meant they missed the Danish clash and could both push for a start. Coach Holger Osieck has a few dilemmas on the right side with Brett Emerton (ankle) unavailable, which could potentially force a re-shuffle with Rhys Williams, Luke Wilkshire and Jade North in the mix.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- The last time these two sides met it was Oman who took the spoils, claiming a 1-0 victory in Muscat in the third round of qualifying. The result is Australia’s last defeat in competitive action.
- These two sides have met regularly in recent times, including in qualifying for the 2011 Asian Cup with the Socceroos edging both matches narrowly, while they drew 1-1 at 2007′s event in South-East Asia, with Australia needing an injury-time Tim Cahill goal.
- Oman qualified for the third round of qualifying in 2010, and the second round in 2006.
- The hosts this week signed up Oman Air as their new national team sponsor.
- Australia topped a group featuring Oman, as well as Saudi Arabia and Thailand to reach for the final round of qualifying.
- The Socceroos have been greeted with sweltering conditions in Oman since their arrival, but duo Mark Bresciano and Lucas Neill should be used to it having played their club football in neighbouring UAE this season.