Socceroos Seek Fresh Start

Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images
Mile Jedinak is one of the Socceroos key players. Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images
Australia  will begin life after Holger Osieck on Wednesday morning (AEST), when it faces Canada  in an international friendly at Craven Cottage. Caretaker boss Aurelio Vidmar takes charge of the Socceroos after German Osieck was dismissed following consecutive 6-0 defeats at the hands of Brazil and France and faces a much easier initiation against The Canucks, who are ranked 106 in the world.

Many have suggested that the poor performances of the Socceroos in recent times can be largely attributed to a lack of youth in the side and Vidmar is likely to make full use of his squad with the 2014 World Cup just eight months away. There will be at least one change to the starting lineup for Australia, with Luke Wilshere ruled out of the match against Canada with a knee injury that forced him off after 70 minutes against France. Club Brugge goalkeeper Mat Ryan should get his chance between the posts in place of Mitch Langerack, while Jason Davidson, Dario Vidosic, Matthew Leckie and Nikita Rukavytsya are all likely to get more game time.

Canada didn’t get past the second stage of qualifying for next year’s World Cup and has failed to win any of its past 11 matches, failing to score in five matches since a 2-1 defeat to Japan in March. Benito Floro’s men faced Mauritania in two friendly matches at home last month, with the first match ending in a draw  and the second a 1-0  defeat. Only three players in the Canada squad play top flight football in any of the big European leagues and they are likely to be outclassed by Australia at Craven Cottage.

Australia and Canada have met on eight previous occasions, but only twice since 1924.The sides did battle in a World Cup playoff for a berth at USA ’94 two decades ago, with Australia winning 2-1  in Sydney before Canada won the return leg by the same scoreline.

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