Farina Coy About Starting Eleven As Cahill Ruled O
Socceroos coach Frank Farina will wait till tomorrow before naming his starting eleven for the clash with South Africa, with only eleven of the 19 players having arrived in Durban. Tim Cahill has been ruled out with an ankle injury and has not travelled for the game.
Socceroos coach Frank Farina will wait till tomorrow before naming his starting eleven for the clash with South Africa, with only eleven of the 19 players having arrived in Durban. Tim Cahill (pictured right) has been ruled out with an ankle injury and has not travelled for the game.
While he didn-t name the eleven, one player who is almost certain to start barring any unforseen circumstances is the national team rookie Jason Culina.
Culina, who has scored 11 goals this season for Twente Enschede in the Netherlands, is likely to get one of the three forward roles that are being employed now by Farina. The 23-year old striker was one of the 11 who arrived yesterday and he had a chat with Farina last night.
"He (Culina) is every chance,” Farina said from Durban. “He arrived yesterday and is fine.”
“I'm excited for him. He has earned his spot or chance to be part of the national squad and he has a chance now to start the game, which I think is wonderful for him. I'm looking forward to seeing him get on the park and doing well," Farina enthused.
"I had a brief chat with him yesterday and he is flying at the moment, in terms of where he is at with his club and breaking in to the international scene. It's nice to see players that are enjoying themselves."
It would cap an amazing few weeks for the former Sydney United and Sydney Olympic attacking midfielder, who starred in front of Farina two weeks ago and then played a leading role in the defeat of his former club Ajax Amsterdam last weekend.
However with injuries having disrupted preparations for the match, Farina was typically coy about the line-up.
“We-ve got eleven players in at the moment and the remainder will arrive today at about 1.00pm our time here. I-ve got a side in the back of my mind already, but we will just wait and see until everyone arrives today. We-ll have our first real session with all the players this afternoon.”
One player that won-t be making the trip is Cahill, with Farina saying ‘he-s struggling- and ‘not looking too good- after Sunday-s match against Southampton.
Despite the absence of key midfielders Cahill and Josip Skoko from the midfield, Farina is not about to change the style of play and will continue to use a three up front policy when in attack.
“We will still look to play with how we-ve played in the last few games. We have got to able to have players slot in and not necessarily pick a formation that suits the players.”
Farina is no doubts that South Africa will go with their full strength line-up.
“I think they will go with their strongest line-up. They are preparing for next month-s World Cup qualifiers, so my predictions are they will go with their strongest squad, depending on how their players turn up.”
“They are playing a different style to last time we played them (March 2004) and I think this is a stronger squad. They have certainly had good results recently and I-m hoping it will be a good game and I said it-s a good opportunity for some of our lads to push their claims forward.”
Players that have arrived were Mark Schwarzer, Lucas Neill, Jason Culina, Paul Agostino, Tony Popovic, Stephen Laybutt, Tony Vidmar, Jon McKain, Danny Tiatto, Brett Emerton and Archie Thompson while Mile Sterjovski, Luke Wilkshire, Craig Moore, Vince Grella, Marco Bresciano, Scott Chipperfield, Clint Bolton and Max Vieri are due in on Tuesday afternoon (local time).
SBS TV will show the match LIVE with the telecast commencing at 5.15am (AEDST). A full replay will be shown in all states at 10pm.
There will also be a Live Match Update on the FFA website www.footballaustralia.com.au from 5.20am (AEDST).