Graham Arnold’s Caltex Socceroos tenure will start with a blockbuster November clash against fellow AFC heavyweights Korea Republic in Brisbane.
The Koreans boast a squad with not only some of the best players in Asia, but a few who are making their mark in Europe as well.
We’ve picked out four players who loom as danger-men for the Caltex Socceroos when the two nations clash at Suncorp Stadium later this year.
Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur)
Probably Korea Republic’s most high-profile player, Son has been doing exceptional things in the Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur.
Son, who was a teammate of Caltex Socceroos winger Robbie Kruse at Bayer Leverkusen, made a big-money switch the North London club in 2015.
And he’s settled nicely into life in the EPL, scoring 30 goals in 99 appearances for Spurs and has become a key figure for the club with his creativity and ruthlessness in front of goal.
Still just 26, Son is the driving force of this Korean side in the front third and will be a threat to Australia with his searing speed, dribbling ability and powerful shot from anywhere around the box.
Lee Seung-woo (Verona)
With a nickname like the ‘Korean Messi’, it’s hard to ignore the threat of the left-sided winger.
Lee spent five years in the youth system at Barcelona after the La Liga giants spotted him at a junior tournament at just 12 years of age.
Now 20 years old, Lee never made the first team at Barca but has developed into an exciting talent and is currently playing in Italy with Verona, who were relegated to Serie B for the 2018/19 season.
A part of Korea Republic's 2018 FIFA World Cup squad in Russia, Lee – who was voted Asian Young Footballer of the Year in 2017 – is a real x-factor in this side.
Lee Jae-sung (Holstein Kiel)
The all-action midfielder has been arguably the K-League’s best player of the last two seasons, earning a move to Europe in the off-season with 2.Bundesliga side Holstein Kiel.
While he does possess a goal threat from midfield – with six in 38 international appearances – Lee's passing range and work-rate is his biggest strength.
He’ll be the man that sets the tempo for Korea Republic, providing the link between the defence and attack.
At 26, Lee is reaching the peak of his career and it should be a great battle against Australia’s star midfield man in Aaron Mooy.
Hee Chan-Hwang (Red Bull Salzburg)
Another of Korea Republic's next generation is starting to make his mark in European football.
Striker Hee Chan-Hwang plays in Austria with Red Bull Salzburg and has registered 17 goals from 59 outings for the club.
The 22-year-old forward is strong and powerful, with a superb touch around the box while also being a threat in the air despite his relatively small 5 foot 10 frame.
Hee, who represented Korea Republic at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, was also a part of their squad in Russia and has two goals from 17 senior international appearances.
Australia will play their first match under new boss Graham Arnold in Australia on Saturday, 17 November 2018 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
Secure your tickets for the Caltex Socceroos’ clash against Korea Republic here.
The event is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland in partnership with Brisbane City Council through Brisbane Marketing.