The Socceroos are confident they can adapt their style of play to break down crowded defenses and start their upcoming World Cup qualifying campaign on a high note.
Australia kick off the 2026 tournament, co-hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico, by facing Bangladesh at AAMI Park in Melbourne on Thursday, then Palestine in Kuwait five days later .
Graham Arnold’s men are likely to have far more possession in these matches than in recent friendlies against Argentina, England, Mexico and Ecuador.
“Especially the last four or five years, playing against big teams, you don’t really have the constant possession of the ball or the ball to practice those kinds of things,” midfielder Massimo Luongo said.
“So these are great games for us, maybe to strengthen a part of the game where we’re probably not as strong.
“Compared to a game against Argentina, where you have to be solid, block spaces and worry about their threats, you might have a few chances on the counterattack, or you might have possession for half the time, like we’ll probably do it on Thursday.
“So this will be a great game to test a few things that we probably aren’t tested on enough.
“You need a lot of patience… you just have to stay there and try to break down these types of teams – and you will, and you will get opportunities.
“You just need to have a cool head and a little composure to then score that first goal.”
Teammate Jackson Irvine was confident Australia could break down the packed defenses.
“We will have to find new solutions and ways to create chances and score goals, but we have such quality, great individual quality and great structure as a team that we know we can create chances and score goals,” Irvine said. .
“We want to give fans something to get up out of their seats, get excited about and give them elements of individual quality combined with structure and the way we play as a team.”
Arnold will claim the all-time record for most international ‘A’ caps as Socceroos coach on Thursday when he enters the technical area for the 59th time.
“He played an important role in the development of my career and my international career over the last five years,” said Irvine, the current captain of St. Pauli in Germany’s 2. Bundesliga.
“I have started almost every game since he became manager and he has such faith in me.
“We have a really good relationship in terms of the balance we find between what he lets us control as senior players on the pitch and off the pitch.
“Obviously it will be a special night for him and hopefully we can reward him with a great performance and a win.”
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