Guide to Socceroos-Jordan WC qualifier

Marty Silk

GUIDE TO SOCCEROOS v JORDAN WORLD CUP QUALIFIER

When: November 14, 6pm kickoff (November 15, 3amAEDT)

Where: King Abdullah International Stadium, Amman

AUSTRALIA

* Coach: Graham Arnold

* Rank: 44

JORDAN

* Coach: Vital Borkelmans

* Rank: 98

HEAD TO HEAD

Australia 2, Jordan 3, drawn 0

THE LOWDOWN:

Australia have arrived in Amman as the form team of the tournament with three straight victories, 15 goals and only a single goal scored against them. Australia have been developing an aggressive, energy sapping full-press under Graham Arnold, which has been devastating thus far. But their hosts Jordan are second in Group B and have the envious record of winning every home match, and every match in the Middle East, against the Socceroos. Their most recent was a 1-0 victory over Australia in the 2019 Asian Cup group stage in January. Jordan defend deep and strike on the counter, but Arnold's men plan to push them to limit in a bid to snap their winless run and keep top spot in the Group. The Australia manager is expecting an "exceptional" game from his side.

THE SOCCEROOS:

Australia have arrived in Jordan with a fully-fit squad. Despite brief fitness concerns about Tom Rogic and Aaron Mooy being benched by their club sides, both midfielders look set to get a run, but that's unlikely that will be at the expense of playmaker Jackson Irvine, who's in ruthless form. James Jeggo will anchor the midfield, with Kenny Dougall possibly earning his first cap with a late appearance. Adam Taggart is set to lead the line with Apostolos Giannou and Jamie Maclaren both out. Awer Mabil will start on the right wing with either Craig Goodwin or Ajdin Hrustic on the left after veteran winger Mathew Leckie stayed in Germany for the birth of his son. Martin Boyle is likely get a run on the wing in the last quarter in his first international fixture back from injury. Defender Trent Sainsbury is set to partner with Milos Degenek in central defence with Brad Smith on the left and Rhyan Grant on the right. Mathew Ryan will start between the posts.

THE OPPONENTS:

Jordan's main sport is undoubtedly football with posters of Socceroos and Jordanian players adorning the roundabout of the capital Amman in the lead-up the match. Coach Vital Borkelmans, who took the reigns not long after Arnold started managing the Socceroos last year, is a former Belgium defender trying to instil a deep defending, counter-attacking mindset. However, Jordan are yet to perform consistently with wins, draws and losses making them utterly unpredictable. In the World Cup qualifiers they have logged wins over Taiwan and Nepal, but their most recent match was a goalless home draw to Kuwait. More than half their squad play in Jordan's domestic league, with their most prominent stars being APOEL winger Musa Al-Taamari and Sundsvall defender Jonathan Tamimi. The home crowd will try to be a 12th man against the Socceroos.