The Palmerbet Sports Team have tips and a review of the first game for the Socceroos in their defence of the Asian Cup. They face Jordan in the UAE in a danger game. Can they get the job done?
History: Played 4: Australia 2 V Jordan 2 (0 Draws)
Last meeting: March 29, 2016: Australia 5 d Jordan 1 at Allianz Stadium, Sydney
The Australian’s know the Jordan side well after being in the same group at the last World Cup qualifiers. Australia topped the group at the time, but Jordan weren’t far behind. In 2018, they are currently ranked 109th in the World and to be honest are a bit of a mess. The revolving door of coaches continues, whilst their goal scoring is as dry as the Wadi Rum.
A run of 9 games without a win, while hitting the back of the net only the fives times, has the Jordanian’s in trouble to be competitive in their Group. With both the Socceroos and the well regarded Syrian team (ranked 78th), Jordan need to be nicking points early in the group stages as teams work their way into the tournament and can be surprised.
While the Jordanians aren’t blessed with spectacular talent, 21 year-old Must Al-Taamari will cause plenty of headaches for defences. His form in the top tier of the Cypriot league has been outstanding. 7 goals in only 10 appearances for APOEL’s has been a spectacular start for someone so young, whilst 6 games in the Europa League is quickly building his confidence. Expect the likes of Trent Sainsbury and Milos Degenek to give him a physical working over early.
The Aussies go into the Asian Cup as defending champions. The certainly don’t go into it as favourites and thats as much about injuries as it is the strength of other teams. The Socceroos best player, Aaron Mooy’s knee injury has ruled him out of the tournament, whilst freshly minted Roo, Martin Boyle is also out. Worryingly for our counter attacking style, speedy winger Mathew Leckie is now going to miss the group stages, and possibly the tournament.
Coach Graham Arnold has bought an exciting style to the Socceroos. In the 4 games in charge, they are undefeated with 3 wins and a draw. In that time, the Roos have piled on 13 goals and conceded just 1. Most impressive has been the variety of scorers during that time. Our reliance on Tim Cahill seems to be a thing of the past.
Andrew Nabbout and Chris Ikonimidis are expected to lead the line, with Tom Rogic to sit as a false number 9 and control the ball movement in the final third.
Jordan are the lowest ranked team in the Group and the Aussies should take care of them without too much effort. Its unlikely the Aussie defence will have too much to worry about. If they can put the ball in the back of the Jordanian net they should take the first up win.