Aussies out to erase bitter memories
Mark Schwarzer has called on the Socceroos to replicate their giant-killing deeds of the past to exact some revenge on heavyweights Germany in Tuesday's friendly.
The manner in which the Europeans dismantled the Socceroos 4-0 at last year's World Cup in South Africa has many fearing another shellacking for Australia in Monchengladbach.
But veteran goalkeeper Schwarzer said wins over the Netherlands and England on their soil proved the Socceroos were capable of upsetting the World Cup semi-finalists at Borussia Park.
"That is always going to be a tough order," Schwarzer said. "But we have done it before, we have gone to Holland and beaten the Dutch in their backyard (2-1, Eindhoven in 2008) and we have beaten England on their home ground (3-1, Upton Park in 2003). Nobody expected us to do both of those results so we are going to go in their with the confidence and belief in our own ability."
The Socceroos have been done a favour by German coach Joachim Low who has picked an experimental side following Saturday night's 4-0 home win over Kazakhstan in a Euro 2012 qualifier - their fifth straight victory of a campaign in which they have racked up 17 goals.
Low has released Mesut Ozil, who so tormented the Socceroos in Durban and stars Sami Khedira and captain Philipp Lahm from the squad. Lukas Podolski, who also troubled Australia last June is expected to sit out the match, the problem being that his replacement Andre Schurrle is one of the Bundesliga's form strikers.
With Lahm rested, Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger is expected to captain the side and striker Miroslav Klose, who scored twice on Saturday, should start up front as he looks to add to his 61 goals. Klose is just seven goals from equalling Gerd Mueller's record 68 goals in 62 games that has stood for more than 30 years.
In an insight into the high expectations Germans reserve for their national team, they booed their side in Kaiserslautern on the weekend for not pressing on in the second half after opening up a 3-0 half-time lead. Schwarzer, whose parents moved to Australia from Germany four decades ago, said the home fans could aid Australia's cause.
"Knowing what the German mentality is like and knowing what the German fans demand of their team they will be expected to win the game comfortably at home," he said. "From our point of view we know what we are up against, we knew that in South Africa. Unfortunately we did not match that with our performance."
Schwarzer said that result, which derailed Australia's World Cup campaign, remained an ugly memory and the players were determined to make a better account of themselves.
"It was a very bitter blow and a very harsh lesson to learn," he said. "Hopefully we have learnt a lot from it and improve on it and in the future those results and those performances won't happen to us."
With Tim Cahill injured, Robbie Kruse is a chance of his first start for the Socceroos after impressing off the bench during the Asian Cup campaign. However Socceroos coach Holger Osieck may opt to shift Brett Holman into Cahill's role just behind the main striker with Matt McKay playing on the left flank.