The green and gold start their campaign to retain the Asian Cup with a match versus a side they have struggled against in the Middle East. Australia will begin their quest to win a second consecutive Asian Cup with an opening match against Jordan on January 6 at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al-Ain.
Both sides will be expected to progress to the knockout stage from Group B, with four of the six third place teams going through also, and nabbing three early points will be a brilliant start.
Each team has won twice against the other in their four World Cup qualification matches since Australia moved to the AFC – with the home side triumphing on each occasion.
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In Australia, the match can be watched live on Fox Sports through the Foxtel platform. There is no free-to-air broadcaster.
You can stream the game through either the Foxtel Go, Play, Kayo and the My Football Live – just bear in mind those services are subscription based.
Squads & Team News
Goalkeepers: Ryan, Vukovic, Langerak
Defenders: Sainsbury, Behich, Gersbach, Jurman, Milligan, Risdon, Degenek, Grant
Midfielders: Luongo, Jeggo, Amini, Irvine, Mabil, Rogic
Forwards: Leckie, Giannou, Nabbout, Maclaren, Kruse, Ikonomidis
The Socceroos will be missing arguably their best player Aaron Mooy through injury for the duration of the Asian Cup, while star winger Mathew Leckie has been selected but is likely to be absent until the latter stages of the tournament.
Martin Boyle was also a late withdrawal in the days leading up to the match
An opening match against an unpredictable Jordan will see Graham Arnold select his best available line-up, but it’s far from clear who will start in midfield and attack.
Massimo Luongo is a lock to start in central midfield and it’s likely Jackson Irvine will step into the vacant position alongside because of Mooy’s absence
Tom Rogic will start in the attacking midfield role, but any two of Robbie Kruse, Awer Mabil, Andrew Nabbout and Chris Ikonomidis could play on the flanks.
Nabbout is likely to start as the central striker after impressing in the 5-0 victory over Oman.
Socceroos predicted XI: Ryan (GK); Behich, Milligan (C), Sainsbury, Risdon; Luongo, Irvine; Kruse, Rogic, Ikonomidis; Nabbout.
Goalkeepers: Amer Shafi, Moataz Yaseen, Ahmed Abdel-Sattar
Defenders: Tareq Khattab, Yazan Abu Arab, Mohammed Al-Basha, Anas Bani Yaseen, Bara’ Marei, Feras Shelbaieh, Salem Al-Ajalin
Midfielders: Baha’ Abdel-Rahman, Saeed Murjan, Saleh Rateb, Yousef Al-Rawashdeh, Ahmad Ersan, Yazan Thalji, Yaseen Al-Bakhit, Musa Al-Taamari, Obaida Al-Samarneh, Khalil Bani Attiah, Ahmed Samir
Forwards: Baha’ Faisal, Odai Khadr