Lucas Neill will lead Australia against Oman. Picture: William West/AFP
Australia face Oman in Muscat on Friday as they resume their quest to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The Socceroos will be looking for revenge in the gulf state, having lost away to Friday’s opponent in the previous stage of qualifying. That was the only loss that Holger Osieck’s side suffered in their opening six matches, with the team winning the other five. Now in the final phase of qualifying, Australia can earn direct qualification from their group by finishing in the top two teams in Group B, which also features Japan, Iraq and Jordan.
The Socceroos welcome Josh Kennedy and Carl Valeri back into the fold after the pair missed Saturday night’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of Denmark due to club commitments, but are likely to be without Brett Holman, who is absent owing to family responsibilities.
Oman will be led by Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi in Muscat, who is the only European based player in the squad. They suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Japan in their opening game of the final phase of qualifying and could hardly have had a tougher start to their campaign, being drawn against the Asia Cup finalists in their opening two fixtures.
These teams have met on five occasions with Australia winning on three occasions, while there has been a draw and Oman were 1-0 victors in the most recent clash, here, in November last year. Australia won 3-0 when the they met in Sydney last October.
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