Omanis hope Socceroos feel the pressure

March 25, 2013
By Angela Habashy

Australia go into their World Cup qualifier against Oman on Tuesday the clear favourites.

They're at home, they've had an ideal week-long training camp and coach Holger Osieck is boasting a wealth of selection options.

But one thing the lower-ranked Omanis are also hoping is that the Socceroos will be feeling the weight of expectation at ANZ Stadium.

"Australia are the favourites ... they are supposed to qualify but we want to create a surprise. Why not?," Oman coach Paul Le Guen said.

"When you are considered to be better than your opponent you will have all the pressure in the game ... so we will fight.

"We have proved our potential at home but time has come for us to prove it away."

Australia sit in second spot in their group but only ahead of Oman and Iraq on goal difference and a point in front of Jordan.

With four matches left on the road to Brazil, including an away clash against runway group leaders Japan, Osieck is all too aware how important getting three points on Tuesday is.

"It's a very crucial one and we want to win it. There's no ifs or buts, there's no discussion," Osieck stressed on Monday.

"This is what we are here for and that is what we will do."

Having played their past three qualifiers away, the Socceroos will have the advantage of a home clash this time.

They will also benefit from having spent the whole week together in camp - something Osieck is grateful for as he settled a few selection headaches.

The German coach admitted he struggled to nail down his starting team as he found himself spoilt for choice.

Osieck however was giving nothing away on who he will field nor who would form the central defensive pairing in suspended skipper Lucas Neill's absence.

A-League players Jade North, Michael Thwaite and Mark Milligan and overseas-based Rhys Williams and Ryan McGowan loom as possibilities.