FIVE KEYS THINGS FOR AUSTRALIA v NEPAL
* Stake your claim up front. Socceroos coach Graham Arnold is desperate for a striker who can score regularly and whoever gets the nod from Adam Taggart, Apostolos Giannou and Jamie Maclaren will want to press their claim by scoring a bag of goals against minnows Nepal, and Taiwan next Tuesday.
* Rags v Riches. There hasn't been a Nepalese domestic league since 2015 due to an earthquake and official mismanagement. Some players facing the Socceroos are not even full-time professionals. Coach Johan Kalin admits they lack the resources to compete but hopes these World Cup qualifiers are the start of a new era.
* Aussie Scotsman Harry Souttar is in line for his Socceroos debut just days after arriving here for the first time. He's eligible through his mother and follows in the footsteps of Martin Boyle who last year lobbed only days before debuting against South Korea in Brisbane.
* Release the Kraken. This fixture kicks off a day before the A-League season starts but some players might not see any action all weekend. Sydney FC asked for goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne to be released for their season-opener on Friday night but were denied. He's the Socceroos third-choice keeper and will unlikely feature against Nepal or Taiwan.
* It's getting a bit crowded. Officials are expecting close to 20,000 fans for the midweek fixture in Canberra which bucks the trend of declining A-League crowds. This is the same rugby league city which averaged less for Raiders home games and they made the NRL grand final. Super Rugby crowds for the Brumbies have also slumped to around 8000 at GIO Stadium. It proves soccer remains one of the most popular sports in Australia.