Young Roos back themselves for Peru task

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They are the two young Socceroos set to carry the burden of stopping Peru in a winner-takes-all World Cup play-off, but Nathaniel Atkinson and Kye Rowles are backing themselves to deliver for their country.

Despite possessing a combined four caps, Atkinson and Rowles are pushing to be in Graham Arnold's starting XI for Monday's (Tues 0400 AEST) must-win inter-continental play-off clash in Qatar.

The stakes could not be higher.

A win would put Australia into a fifth-straight World Cup finals but Peru are more strongly fancied to reach Qatar.

If Atkinson, 22, is daunted by the prospect of facing the side ranked No.22 in the world in such a big one-off match, he is doing a good job of hiding it.

"I've got faith in anyone that comes into the line-up to be fair, from the strikers to the defence and 'keepers," he told AAP.

"That's the reason why we're here. The reason why Arnie (coach Arnold) brought us in.

"There's no point bringing in players here that Arnie doesn't think are ready to play.

"I'm just grateful to have that opportunity. I'm sure Rowlesy is as well.

"Even the players with 70 caps, they're all blessed to be on that pitch and we're all playing for one cause and that's to send Australia to the World Cup."

Atkinson was given a torrid time in the 2-1 play-off win over the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday (Weds AEST) by teenage winger Harib Abdalla, but also played a key role in winning the ball back ahead of Jackson Irvine's 53rd-minute opener.

"To be fair, I wasn't happy with my performance defensively, but keeping confident with the ball I think you can build yourself back into the game," he said.

"Obviously we've got a lot of experience around and good players around in the team and that's what helped me get by. And now we move on."

Rowles, who only debuted in last week's friendly against Jordan and has continued the good times by sealing a move to join Atkinson at Scottish Premiership club Hearts on Thursday, is riding a wave of confidence.

Whether the 23-year-old starts against Peru hinges on the fitness of Trent Sainsbury, who is battling a knee injury that ruled him out of the UAE game.

Sainsbury did light training on Friday while Adam Taggart (thigh) also trained as both push to be in contention.

If given the nod by Arnold, Rowles is itching to play his part in what could be another famous night for the Socceroos.

"There'll be nerves and all sorts of emotions flying around but once you get out there, you know what you're there for and you focus," he told AAP.

"You don't want to let any of your teammates down.

"You go out there and you just want to do your job, just like everyone in the team.

"If we all do that together, then it'll be a positive outcome."

Rowles also believes Australia will go into Monday's game with an edge having come through a sudden death play-off just days before.

"It's going to be a very different game to Tuesday night but that will-to-win is definitely there within the group," he said.

"The boys have got a feel for it and a week later we just want that same feeling again.

"We're going to do whatever we can to achieve it. Everyone's focused ... we're so, so excited. We can't wait."

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