This is my blog on the unpredictable world of football. Hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Australia V Bahrain

Hello and welcome to my blog once again. In under an hours time Australia will play its final group game of the Asian Cup against Bahrain. It is a game where Australia only need to snatch one point to qualify for the knock out phase of the cup, but coach Holger Osieck has come out stating that, "We don't want to consider anything but victory as being good enough". So the gauntlet has been laid for the Socceroos by their coach, how will they respond? Any team with as sharp a duo as Tim Cahill and Harry Kewell up front has enough goals in them for a victory. But the left hand side of Australia's formation is the weak spot, as seen against South Korea. David Carney is NOT a left back, his forward runs can be valuable at times, but son you must track back as well. Unfortunately this is where Holman comes in as the left mid. He should drop back, but he is one of our biggest threats in the build up and in front of goal so why should he? It may be a blessing in disguise if Carney is unable to play against Bahrain, however with no natural left back in the squad to replace him it looks as if the left side will remain the Socceroos weak spot. The imminent loss of both Culina and Wilkshire will have some implications on the squad - in particular the right hand side for Australia. Wilkshire and Emerton seem to have almost telepathic knowledge of each others movements at times during matches and have forged possibly the strongest partnership for the Aussies. Valeri is most likely to fill Culina's vacant spot, which is great as Valeri is a future star for the Socceroos. He turned in some solid performances in South Africa last year and deserves a spot in the starting XI.

Bahrain turned in a thumping 5-2 victory over India in their last outing. They showed some brilliant attacking football and will look to carry this momentum into the match against Australia. The biggest threats for the Australians are Ismaeel Abdulatif who bagged four against India and Fawzi Ayish another Bahraini star. This is a big match for Bahrain with a chance of getting out of the group stage. They will try to use their underdog status and a slight 'home advantage' to pressure the Australians but it is a massive ask of this small nation. If Holger Osieck's comments are anything to go by we should be in for a real cracker of a match. Australia will look to use Cahill's aerial advantage as always, coupled with Kewell's slick dribbling skills. I think Australia will struggle in the early stages with a couple of the fringe players on the park, but they will overcome it and forge on for a 3 nil victory.

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