Your ultimate guide to Caltex Socceroos v Jordan
The Caltex Socceroos will begin their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ campaign against Jordan at 10:00pm (AEDT) this evening.
Four years on from the last AFC Asian Cup held on home soil and won by Australia, the Socceroos will commence their fourth appearance at Asia’s premier football tournament for men’s national teams at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain.
Read on for your comprehensive guide for Sunday’s match-up!
LOOKING FORWARD: Nabbout ready to shoulder responsibility
LIVE BLOG: Keep across all the latest from Caltex Socceroos camp
BROADCAST: How to watch Australia at AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019TM
Australia have arrived in the Emirati kingdom a very different side from four years ago, with a new manager in Graham Arnold as well as a host of new players keen to seize their opportunity on Asia’s biggest stage.
Exciting talents such as Awer Mabil, Jackson Irvine and Chris Ikonomidis will be looking to establish themselves in the Caltex Socceroos this tournament, while the likes of Andrew Nabbout and Josh Risdon will be able to build on the lessons learnt at last year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Throw in the likes of Red Star Belgrade's Champions League defender Milos Degenek and the Caltex Socceroos have a glut of fresh talent that will look to build on the foundations established at the World Cup.
Perhaps the difference from Russia to the United Arab Emirates will be the attacking layers that Graham Arnold has added to former coach Bert van Marwijk’s defensive block.
There has been great news for Caltex Socceroos fans in recent days, with Mathew Leckie being cleared to remain with the squad after the Hertha Berlin winger showed excellent progress in his recovery from a hamstring injury.
While Hibernian winger Martin Boyle has unfortunately had to pull out of the squad due to a knee injury, his replacement is the experienced and eager Apostolos Giannou, who will add an extra dimension to Arnold’s attack.
James Jeggo also came in after Aaron Mooy was ruled out, and his arrival will provide crucial competitiveness for starting spots in the midfield.
In every department Australia has great depth, which means Arnold should have many welcome headaches throughout the tournament as he ponders his team selections.
Current AFC rankings
What they said
Defender Aziz Behich
“If we do the right things [and] what we’ve been working on on the pitch it will show on the weekend.
“We want to start this tournament with a bang. We want to do that against any opponent, whether it be Oman, Jordan – it really doesn’t matter for us.”
Fox Sports commentator Simon Hill
"There are a few names I'm excited to see and to see how they go at this tournament level.
"Andrew Nabbout, who broke onto the scene a year or so back and played at the World Cup, this is potentially his stage.
"Australia is crying out for a goalscorer, we all know that. Nabbout is perfectly capable of scoring goals, why can't this be his tournament?"
How to watch
The Caltex Socceroos kick-off against Jordan at 10:00PM AEDT on Sunday, January 6 and you can catch the action live on FOX SPORTS 505.