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Australia vs Jordan
2019 Asian Cup
|Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain|
Australia’s Asian Cup defence has gotten off to a horrendous start, as the Socceroos lost their first group match to opponents Jordan 0-1.
The Socceroos kick off their Asian Cup defence when they start the 2019 tournament against Jordan in the UAE. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match from Al Ain from 10pm AEDT.
Australia heads into the Asian Cup with a new coach in Graham Arnold, a new captain in Mark Milligan and on an undefeated run.
Arnold took over after the World Cup in Russia and so far his team have managed three wins and a draw in their past four friendly matches.
The Socceroos warmed up for the tournament with a 5-0 smashing of Oman last weekend. They go into their opening game as favourites and contenders for the continental crown, along with Iran, South Korea and Japan.
But crucially the green and gold will not be able to call on Aaron Mooy, Daniel Arzani and Martin Boyle through injury.
Mathew Leckie is also sidelined with a hamstring problem and unlikely to feature.
In their absence, Arnold has handed out debuts to the likes of Awer Mabil, Rhyan Grant and James Jeggo.
Milligan could start in central midfield, alonside Massimo Luongo, with Trent Sainsbury and Milos Degenek in defence.
Apostolos Giannou has been drafted in as Boyle’s replacement, with just two other strikers in the squad in Andrew Nabbout and Jamie Maclaren.
The Socceroos will be relying on goals from across the park, not just from the final third, as part of Arnold’s up-tempo, high-press game-plan.
Australia are big favourites to beat Jordan, with their last meeting a 5-1 victory for the Socceroos in Sydney in 2016.
But the Middle Eastern nation boast a decent record against the green and gold, especially in this part of the world, despite being ranked 68 places below them.
On home soil Jordan upset the Aussies in 2012 and 2015 and are managed by former Belgium assistant coach Vital Borkelmans.
Their key players include goalkeeper Amer Shafi and winger Musa Al-Taamari.
Despite their injuries, the Socceroos have a more talented, experienced squad and arrive in the UAE in good form.
Australia to win 2-0.
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match from 10pm AEDT.
Where: Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain
When: 10pm AEDT
TV: Fox Sports
Betting: Socceroos $1.36, Jordan $9, Draw $5