The Socceroos showdown with France at the weekend has plenty riding on the outcome for the hosts.
The Socceroos showdown with France at the weekend, though friendly by name, has plenty riding on the outcome for the hosts.
The result of Friday-s (Saturday morning AEDT) fixture will count towards FIFA-s World Rankings and the French need as high a ranking as possible ahead of their likely playoff for a FIFA World Cup berth.
As it stands, France are expected to concede automatic qualification to Group I leaders Spain, meaning they will progress to Europe-s second round of qualifiers - a tough two-legged playoff against a runner-up from another group.
The seedings for the second round will be determined by this month-s FIFA World Rankings - to be published in 17 October.
Presently, of the nations in line to qualify for the second round, France will fall just outside of the top seeds, meaning no shortage of motivation for a positive result against the Socceroos.
“I think the Socceroos, we always thrive on being the underdog and against Brazil we were the underdog but we got taught a big lesson,” said Socceroo midfielder Tommy Oar.
“If we want to be competitive at next year-s FIFA World Cup, these are the kind of games we need to show our worth and try and get some confidence in.
“I think, definitely, everybody-s out to prove a point.”
The Socceroos- last win in an international friendly was in November 2012, when an experimental line up triumphed 2-1 over the Korea Republic in Hwaesong.
Of several debutants that day, Mathew Leckie has had to wait patiently for another chance at international recognition.
On the back of strong form for club side FSV Frankfurt, the 22-year-old would relish such an opportunity against France.
“I-ve got to perform, firstly, in training, to show the boss that I-ve got something to give to the national team,” said Leckie.
“First and foremost, that-s what I need to do, I need to perform in the training sessions that we-ve got and then, of course, if I do get some game time, to do my best and try to be dangerous.”