Tim Cahill likely to start for Socceroos vs. Brazil in Melbourne friendly
Australia coach Ange Postecoglou has hinted at multiple changes for Tuesday night's friendly with Brazil in Melbourne as he fine-tunes his squad for the Confederations Cup.
It could mean a rare start for the nation's record goal scorer Tim Cahill, of Melbourne City.
With last week's crucial qualifying win against Saudi Arabia out of the way, Australia's path to the World Cup is on less precarious footing. So Postecoglou's focus has shifted to the tournament in Russia starting next Monday.
That means ensuring any underdone players get a run against five-time world champions Brazil at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the last chance before a frantic seven days of challenging group matches against Germany, Chile and Cameroon.
"Some will need 90 minutes, some only 45 minutes, others may not play at all. We'll measure all that after training today," Postecoglou said.
How many alterations Postecoglou makes to his starting XI is guesswork, especially as he may opt to rest some key players before a long-haul flight and an opening game six days later.
Previously suspended Mark Milligan appears a good bet to return in midfield, which may mean a bench spot for skipper Mile Jedinak.
Massimo Luongo could also get some time against the world No.1 nation and Mitch Langerak may be a shot to start in goal. And Postecoglou says young bolter Ajdin Hrustic had been training well and is in the frame for a hometown debut.
Aziz Behich is the obvious choice to fill the wide left role following the departure of injured Brad Smith and his lively second-half against the Saudis.
"Aziz did well the other night," Postecoglou said. "We've called in Alex Gersbach, but he'll join us over in Russia.
"Aziz is match fit -- he got in the Tuesday before the [Saudi] game because he had a game that weekend, so he probably doesn't need the full 90."
37-year-old Cahill or Jamie Maclaren could start up front should Postecoglou choose to rest Tomi Juric, who scored a brace in Adelaide last week.
"Timmy is one of the ones who will get some game time for sure tomorrow," Postecoglou said. "Obviously the A-League finished a while back, but to be fair to him he's worked really hard in the meantime."
The Socceroos are looking forward to testing themselves against Brazil.
"Anytime that kind of opportunity comes along you want to make the most of it," Postecoglou said.
"I guess the key is not to get too caught up in who the opponent is, but make sure you get something out of the exercise."