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Socceroos vs Thailand World Cup Qualifier Preview and Team News - Australia aim to finish 2016 on top of Group B

Andrew Hendrie 13 Nov 2016
  • Socceroos meet Thailand in a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday
  • Pivotal matchday for Group B
  • Thailand have put up a fight against the Socceroos in recent clashes
The Socceroos face Thailand on Tuesday night

The Socceroos take on minnows Thailand in their final World Cup 2018 qualifier on Tuesday night, with nothing but a solid performance and all three points acceptable as the Aussies look to end 2016 in top spot in their group.

Australia head into this clash on the back of consecutive draws with fellow Group B powerhouses Saudi Arabia and Japan, while Thailand remain winless following three straight defeats against Japan, the UAE and Iraq.

The game will be played at the Rajamangala Stadium with kick off scheduled for 11.00pm AEDT (7.00pm local). It will be broadcast live on Fox Sports in Australia.

Match Preview

It’s looming as a crucial night as far as the shape of Group B is concerned heading into the new year, with second-placed Australia facing a seemingly simple prospect in the form of Thailand and group leaders Saudi Arabia taking on third-placed Japan.

A win for the Socceroos and Japan will see Australia finish the year on top of Group B by one point, a position they surely would have taken at the beginning of the campaign. By contrast, a shock loss in Thailand and a Japan defeat would see Saudi Arabia extend their lead to five points. Australia could also drop to third if they draw with Thailand and Japan beat the Saudis. There’s no room for error for the Socceroos in Rajamangala on Tuesday night.

Australia’s preparations for this clash have been rocked by injuries to multiple key figures, with Tomi Juric, Massimo Luongo and Mitch Langerak all sidelined, while Tim Cahill has been rested for this trip.




Ange Postecoglou has assembled Melbourne City’s Luke Brattan, Apo Giannaou of the Chinese Super League and Swansea City reserve Mark Birighitti as his replacements.

While the injuries are not ideal, Postecoglou has ensured that he has left no stone unturned in his meticulous preparation for this encounter, with the Socceroos arriving in Thailand over a week ago in order to acclimatise to the tricky conditions.

It will be important for the Socceroos to remain patient and reframe from getting frustrated against a Thai outfit who will likely sit back and play on the counter. An early goal would do wonders for Australia’s confidence and could potentially open the floodgates.

On the other hand, Thailand could be inspired to play some adventurous football. The nation is in mourning for the King of Thailand and a massive crowd is expected to descend on the Rajamangala Stadium, located on the outskirts of  the nation’s capital in Bangkok.

Australia have won their previous two matches in the Thai capital - however they were by no means easy victories. The Socceroos emerged 1-0 winners in Bangkok five years ago in a World Cup qualifier, while back in 2007 they came away with a 4-0 triumph - but three of those goals came in the last 10 minutes. The Socceroos also barely overcame the minnow nation 2-1 in Brisbane five years ago after Thailand went ahead early. It looks set to be another closer-than-expected clash, but a Socceroos win should never be in doubt.


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Socceroos vs Thailand World Cup Qualifier Preview and Team News - Australia aim to finish 2016 on top of Group B

The Socceroos take on minnows Thailand in their final World Cup 2018 qualifier on Tuesday night, with nothing but a solid performance and all three points acceptable as the Aussies look to end 2016 in top spot in their group.

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